Climate Friendly Cooling Pledge and New Regulations Affecting Universities: Opportunities and Implications

Bard College, Yale University, AASHE, Project Drawdown, The Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development

Date Created: June 2, 2021
Date Posted: June 3, 2021
Submitted by: Alysa Fitch
Content Type: Videos & Webinars

Video Content


Action is needed now by college staff in facilities, EHS, sustainability, student life, business offices, auxiliary services, housing, dining, planning, and procurement. Changes within all these staff areas to manage a group of very damaging greenhouse gases is environmentally and legally required.

In 2016, 170 countries agreed to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that phased down hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) refrigerants, a class of potent greenhouse gases. HFC refrigerants are thousands of times more potent compared with carbon dioxide and are among the fastest-growing climate pollutants in the world.

This treaty spurred a global push for better management of HFCs and a transition to climate-friendly refrigerants. The United States recently committed to these goals via bipartisan legislative action.

The good news is that Project Drawdown estimates that refrigerant management has the potential to reduce emissions by 57.75 gigatons of CO2eq through 2025, worldwide, and to prevent a crucial .5 degrees Celsius of atmospheric warming. Other groups estimate that improved refrigerant management could generate $39 billion in economic benefits by 2027. (If warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists predict that over three billion lives will be at risk.)

The webinar will feature experts on integrating refrigerant management best practices into student and staff initiatives, legislation impacting HVAC equipment, buying options for sustainable technologies, and leaders on programmatic responses.

This webinar on what actions campuses are taking to address this critical topic is brought to you by Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, along with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, the Yale Refrigerants Initiative, and Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I), APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).