TIME TO ACT | To Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are powerful factory-made greenhouse gases used primarily in air conditioning, refrigeration, foam-blowing, fire suppression, solvents, and aerosols. Their use is growing because they are being widely adopted as replacements for O 3 -depleting substances (ODS), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are being phased out
under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The mix of HFCs in current use, weighted by usage (tonnage), has an average atmospheric lifetime of 15 years (Velders G.J.M. et al. 2009). Although they currently represent only a small fraction of the total greenhouse gases (less than 1%), they are among the fastest-growing ones (in percentage) in
many countries, including the United States, the European Union, China, and India. Emissions of high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs are rising very quickly at 8% or more per year (UNEP 2011b). A recent study concluded that replacing high-GWP HFCs with low-GWP alternatives could avoid 0.1°C of warming by 2050 (Xu Y. et al . 2013).
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