In the early 1990s HCFCs became the first generation of substitute chemicals for CFCs and were added to the list of substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol acknowledged that these low-ODP chemicals were ‘transitional substances’ that should be used to facilitate the prompt phase out of CFCs, but ultimately they too were slated for phase out. Although having considerably lower ozone depleting potentials than CFCs, the major problem with HCFCs is their high global warming potentials, of up to 2000 times that of carbon dioxide. Under a business as usual scenario, HCFC and HFC emissions are predicted to be in the region of 2 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent in 2015.
HCFC Phase-out: A Comparative Assessment of the Proposed Adjustments
Supermarkets in particular have enormous refrigeration systems that extend past the display cases to back room chillers, refrigerated trucks, cold warehouses and so on. With such large systems, supermarkets are among the largest corporate offenders of HFC use, with thousands of tons of these chemicals throughout their cold chain. Yet out of nearly 40,000 supermarkets in the U.S., barely 1% are known to have transitioned to HFC-free systems; our Supermarket Scorecard shows that action and change throughout the industry is needed. These large companies have a greater climate footprint than you or me, and thus a greater responsibility to transition to climate-friendly alternatives.
Last week EIA participated in California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) 6th workshop on proposed regulations to reduce emissions of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling. The state’s rigorous process for proposing new regulations on HFC refrigerants has been ongoing for several years now and is in the final stretch. Opportunities for stakeholder engagement have been abundant and ARB has invited input from industry along the way. They even aligned with an industry proposed 2023 deadline for transitioning new air conditioning equipment to refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) less than 750.
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.
Today, EIA launched the Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard assessing the largest U.S. supermarkets on actions and commitments to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - potent greenhouse gases used in cooling.
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
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Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge