HFC emissions rapidly rising

9th December 2011


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  • Air ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management

Author

IEMA

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has warned that levels of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are rapidly increasing in the atmosphere

In a new report, the UN body says that emissions of HFCs (excluding HFC-23) are growing at a rate of 8% per year as they are adopted as ozone-friendly alternatives to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

It also warns that by 2050, without action, they could rise so high that they almost cancel out the tremendous climate benefits won earlier by the phase-out of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.

The UNEP report estimates that annual emissions of FCs will rise from about 3.5Gt to 8.8Gt of CO2 equivalent by the middle of the century, which is comparable with the drop in annual emissions of ozone-depleting substances between 1988 and 2010. UNEP wants alternatives to be urgently adopted to bring down the projected growth of HFCs.

The range of alternatives to HFCs includes designing buildings that avoid the need for air conditioning and using alternative substances.


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