Towards a low emissions future



10 February 2023


CCN magazine partnered with Refrigerants Australia, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and other industry leaders to host a Roundtable debate to address a wide range of important issues including the barriers to net zero. Refrigerants Australia executive director Dr Greg Picker and Refrigerant Reclaim Australia general manager Kylie Farrelley took part. The findings of the Roundtable are worth reading for all in the industry, and represent a good summary of the work being carried out by industry to limit refrigerant emissions and improve energy efficiency.  Read the full report, with thanks to CCN.


12 October 2022

Refrigerant Facts, released in October 2022, is a detailed and comprehensive ready reference to the refrigerant industry in Australia, covering environmental achievements, future challenges, Australian and international engagements.


23 December 2021

Autralian air conditioning faults report

This report prepared by the Expert Group, for Refrigerants Australia provides a better understanding of the frequency of faults in Australian AC equipment that may have environmental and energy impacts. Research for this study involved interrogating one of the most substantial databases of air conditioning (AC) system maintenance and repair work orders in Australia. The data base was established and is run by Grosvenor Engineering Group (GEG) as a central part of their asset management for clients.

The report contains some useful findings that will no doubt be addressed during 2022, and more importantly, it reinforces the need for approaches to be implemented that highlight good maintenance practice.


3 August 2021

The United Nations has released a report dealing with the protocols required for the transport of COVID vaccines in the global cold chain.
It covers cold chain temperature requirements, the containers for carrying vaccines,cold storage equipment, energy efficiency aspects for
equipment used for vaccine storage and the technologies being brought into play to meet the vaccine cold chain requirements. The report
notes that there might currently still be a challenge in how rapidly one can get new, well-trained people employed for handling the various
(types of) vaccines at different places in the cold chain. The challenges to developing countries are  mainly in the availability of storage
facilities for the right temperature level and availability of a reliable power source to run the refrigeration system.  


18 December 2020
The report commissioned by Refrigerants Australia to consider the regulation of flammable refrigerants in Australia has been delivered. It provides an overview of the regulatory and quasi-regulatory instruments which control the use and handling of flammable refrigerants in the different jurisdictions around the country. It also highlights key themes and gaps within the regulatory landscape.
The table of regulations of flammable refrigerants can be found on Page 22 of the report.



1 November 2020

The next report in the Cold Hard Facts series was released in October 2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Cold Hard Facts 2020 is the fifth edition of the research series investigating the scale and impacts of the
'cooling economy' in Australia. This economy, broadly defined as the total of all goods and services that involve employment of vapour compression refrigeration and heat exchange systems, is a significant fraction of the Australian economy.
Direct spending on hardware, consumables and energy, plus employment, is estimated at more than $41 billion, or around 2.1% of Australian gross domestic product in 2019.


23 September 2020

The Low Emissions Technology Statement, best understood as the national strategy to meet Australia's climate change goals. To summarise, the government’s approach is to focus investment in a handful of technologies that, should they prove successful, could reduce Australia’s emissions profile markedly.  They are shifting governmental focus on policies and programs, in what they hope is an approach that costs taxpayers only indirectly and does not require any significant societal change. 

16 May 2020


The long awaited report on the extent of Australia's food waste as it travels through the cold chain, prepared by the Expert Group, has just been released by its sponsors, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Refrigerants Australia.

While quantifying the extent and the costs of food waste in the cold chain, it also lists opportunities for improvement.

Estimates of food waste attributable to breaks and deficiencies in the cold food chain are provided for the first time. Preliminary and conservative estimates put the cost of food waste within the cold food chain at $3.8 billion at farm gate values.

Temperature abuse is cited as one of the main reasons for food wastage, with the greatest risks for perishable food occurring during transportation and handling between mobile and stationary refrigeration points. There are sometimes huge temperature variations between truck or trailer, loading docks and storage facilities.


15 December 2019

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand is seeking comments on its consultation paper dealing with a licensing regime for refrigeration, heating and air conditioning technicians. Submissions have to be in by 17 January 2020.


8 November 2019

Refrigerants Australia Secretary Dr Greg Picker, in Rome for the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, delivered a detailed report on the Australian Food Cold Chain – Identifying Issues and Implementing Improvements. This presentation is an excellent up-to-date study of the extent of food loss and waste and its consequences, drawing on the latest findings of the Cold Hard Facts reports, compiled by the Expert Group on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Energy.


23 October 2019

Cold Hard Facts 2019

Cold Hard Facts 2019 is the 4th edition in the Cold Hard Facts series that began in 2006. Cold Hard Facts 2019 updates the findings of Cold Hard Facts 3 by incorporating industry data from 2017 and 2018. The Cold Hard Fact series is underpinned by a techno-economic model of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector that has been developed over the course of completing dozens of research projects into the sector. The primary output of this model is to track changes in the make-up of the working bank of refrigerants in Australia, and to report mass flows of refrigerants through their life cycle from import, to utilisation, to disposal and destruction or loss to atmosphere. This work supports Australia in meeting its international commitments under the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone depleting substances, and to phase down HFCs.

24 September 2019

Cooling on the Move – The future of air conditioning in vehicles - September 2019

Air conditioners in passenger cars, vans, buses and freight trucks – collectively known as mobile air conditioning – consume large amounts of energy. The fuel they use and their leaks of refrigerant are also responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

This report explores the current global energy consumption from mobile air conditioning systems, along with the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the energy consumption and the leaking refrigerants. With no further policy action, energy use from mobile air conditioning may almost triple to over 5.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2050. At the same time, annual combined emissions from energy consumption and refrigerant leakage could more than triple to 1 300 million tons of CO2 equivalent.

The report provides a summary review of the technical opportunities for improving the efficiency of mobile air conditioning and also explores the role government policy can play in supporting the development
and installation of more efficient mobile air conditioning systems.

9 August 2019

A new climate zoned energy label is now required on new AC equipment as a result of the changes to Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). 

To assist industry, retailers and the community to better understand the new label. the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Regulator is holding information sessions around Australia. The target audience is those who have contact with end use customers, so mainly retail store staff and installers.   

Members of the Ozone and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Program from the Department will also attend to present on the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase down and licencing arrangements

The sessions will focus on how to read the new label and explain it to customers, the transition arrangements between the old and new labels, and how to correctly display the new label in retail stores. Sessions will run for approximately two hours.





Thursday 22 August

Manuka Oval  – Griffith


Monday 2 September

Rydges – Fortitude Valley


Tuesday 3 September

Rydges – Parramatta


Wednesday 4 September

Quest – Burwood East


Thursday 5 September

Best Western – Hobart


Tuesday 17 September

Mercure – Perth


Wednesday 18 September

Rydges – Adelaide


For details of venues and how to book go to: You can also register to receive information about the new rules by emailing [email protected].

23 November 2018

Flammable refrigerant gases – position paper – Government of Western Australia

This Position Paper was developed by the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) and provides information on the obligations of work health and safety duty holders with respect to the use of flammable refrigerant gases at workplaces.

22 November 2018

Australia's HFC Phasedown

Presentation delivered by RA's Dr Greg Picker at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Quito, Ecuador, November 2018

22 November 2018

Introducing Low GWP Refrigerants: Australia's experience

Presentation delivered by RA's Dr Greg Picker at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Quito, Ecuador, November 2018

2 November 2018

Cold Hard Facts 3

Cold Hard Facts 3 provides an economic and technological assessment of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia in 2016. The report includes an analysis of the size and economic value of the industry, the equipment and refrigerant gas bank, trends in gas imports and equipment, and direct and indirect emissions in this sector. It expands on, and where possible, makes comparisons with two previous studies; Cold Hard Facts 1 published in 2007, and Cold Hard Facts 2, published in 2013.


11 September 2018

Updating the 2009 National Waste Policy: Less waste, more resources

The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek input on priority issues to be considered in future Australian waste management and resource recovery. Feedback will inform updates to the 2009 National Waste Policy for consideration by environment ministers later this year.

27 August 2018

Accredited course in handling of Class A2/A2L flammable refrigerants

Victoria has approved a formal training unit for A2/A2L refrigerants.  Given the interstate arrangements, this course is now able to be offered anywhere in Australia.

23 August 2018

AIRAH – Walk-in cool room research project

A discussion paper on the initial findings of industry consultation into barriers to energy efficiency in the Walk-in cool room sector in Victoria.

16 August 2018

Cold Hard Facts 3rd Edition: The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry in Australia – A decade of industry growth

The Expert Group is the author of the original Cold Hard Facts study of 2006-7 and the Cold Hard Facts 2 in 2013. Their reports cover nearly 40 major pieces of research and analysis into almost every aspect of the RAC industry, the technology and the supply chains over the past decade.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has an excellent reference page on its website focused on the Standard 34 listed refrigerants.

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and related Acts (the OSGG Acts) protect the environment by reducing emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs). The OSGG Acts control the manufacture, import and export of ODS and SGGs and products containing these gases. These gases are commonly used as refrigerant gases in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

On 30 March 2017, the Minister for Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, introduced the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 to Parliament, which will implement the key outcomes of the 2014-2016 Program Review. Copies of the legislation and the related regulations are available at the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

September 2014
HFC R32 fact sheet

The Air conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA), in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Supplier Association (CESA), has prepared a technical fact sheet on the R32 refrigerant. It answers questions on its potential flammability, toxicity and carcinogenic characteristics. Research confirms that R32 is not an extremely flammable, highly toxic gas that causes cancer (as some industry representatives have suggested).

VIDEO:  The flammable refrigerant experiment that failed at the University of New South Wales

There is no better demonstration of the dangers of using a flammable refrigerant in the automotive industry than the botched experiment that injured the academic whose research work was pivotal in the push for the use of flammable refrigerants in mobile systems for which they were not designed by any mainstream car maker on the planet.

The story was hushed up for some time, and only emerged in court, when the academic, Dr Ian MacLaine Cross was convicted on Workcover charges arising from the incident.

MacLaine Cross, of the University of New South Wales, was charged by Workcover NSW on two breaches of the Dangerous Goods Act. On 12 July 2001, in a University of New South Wales carpark at Kensington, he negligently and carelessly used a hydrocarbon gas, in such a manner and circumstance as to cause or to be likely to cause injury to himself. On the second count, MacLaine Cross was charged with failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who were affected by his acts and omissions of work, in particular John Reynolds, Paul McGregor and Michael Belsted, who were all injured in the explosion which resulted from MacLaine Cross’ demonstration. MacLaine Cross pleaded guilty to both charges and was convicted on the first and was required to enter into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months.   On the second charge, Chief Magistrate Miller exercised his discretion and did not record a conviction, on the defendant entering into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months. He also allowed costs totalling $5,720 against the defendant.

MacLaine Cross was then senior lecturer at the University School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Chief Industrial Magistrate G Miller said “This, in many respects, was described as probably a stupid incident when looking at the particular circumstances and hindsight, no doubt the defendant thought otherwise prior to the incident."