Long Beach, Calif. June 15, 2018 – California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), a leading advocate for reducing harmful emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the atmosphere, was named Person of the Year 2018 by Accelerate America magazine at the ATMOsphere America conference in Long Beach, Calif., this week.
Marc Chasserot, CEO of shecco, presented Lara with the award following Lara’s keynote speech at the conference. Shecco, a Belgium-based accelerator of climate-friendly natural refrigerant technologies, is the organizer of ATMOsphere America and the publisher of Accelerate America. Natural refrigerants include carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, ammonia, water and air.
Lara was given the award in recognition of his efforts to phase down the use of super-polluting HFC gases and help pave the way for natural refrigerant alternatives. Several companies also received awards at the conference for furthering the adoption of natural refrigerants, including ALDI US (Best in Sector: Food Retail); Henningsen Cold Storage (Best in Sector: Industrial); Source Refrigeration & HVAC (Best Contractor); Southern California Edison (Best Utility); and Colmac Coil Manufacturing (Innovation of the Year for ADX low-charge evaporator).
Senator Lara authored the Super Pollutant Reduction Act of 2016, which commits California to reducing HFCs by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. He introduced the California Cooling Act this year to combat what he has termed the “silent assassin” of HFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners that threaten the global climate.
The California Cooling Act has been approved by the California state senate and now goes to the assembly. If enacted, the Act will authorize financial incentives for businesses such as supermarkets and cold-storage warehouses that are switching to climate-friendly natural refrigeration from HFCs.
In his speech to a packed plenary room at the conference, Lara sought support for the California Cooling Act from food retailers and cold-storage operators doing business in California. Chasserot invited stakeholders to add their signature to a letter shecco has drafted in support of the bill. Interested parties can also express their support and provide specific suggestions on the bill’s content by contacting Lara staff member Mike Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the last 17 years, market accelerator shecco has been active in helping bring climate-friendly technologies faster to market. shecco supports over 100 partners worldwide in the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants. shecco offers a variety of services in three areas: 1) media, including online industry platforms, magazines and a catalog of dedicated research reports; 2) market development, including market research, consultancy and public affairs services, as well as special international projects; and 3) events, including international conferences and national workshops.
Editor, Accelerate America