HFCs in the Copenhagen Deal

Publication - 3 December, 2009
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been increasingly used in the last decade or so as alternative refrigerants to ozone-damaging CFCs, which are now banned under the Montreal Protocol. Unfortunately, although considered ozone-friendly, HFCs are extremely potent greenhouse gases.

Executive summary: HFCs have a very short life in the atmosphere, so their elimination would have an immediate and positive effect on the global climate. Instead, HFC emissions are a rapidly growing threat as demand for refrigeration in developing countries increases and HCFCs, which are also being used as CFC substitutes, undergo an accelerated phase-out.

The most recent peer-reviewed science shows that, even if global CO2 emissions are reduced enough to keep global temperature increase below 2°C, doing nothing about HFCs means they will be responsible for the equivalent of 28-45% of CO2 emissions by 2050. The good news is that HFC-free alternatives for most applications are tried, tested and ready to go.

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Number of pages: 2