Rising Use of HFCs Could Accelerate Global Warming, UN Says


The increased use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the production of refrigerators, air conditioners, and other products could play a significant role in accelerating global warming, a new UN report warns.

Without stricter regulations, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report says, the projected emissions of HFCs by 2050 could equal pouring nearly 9 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — or about one-third of current CO2 emissions.

While introduced in the 1990s to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HFCs are also potent greenhouse gases — about 1,600 times more powerful in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

And with the increase in world population and the continued growth of emerging economies, annual consumption of HFCs has doubled over the last decade to about 400,000 tons, according to the UNEP report.

The most common type of HFC increased 10 percent annually from 2006 to 2010. “Without intervention, the increase in HFC emissions is projected to offset much of the climate benefit achieved by the earlier reduction in [ozone-depleting substances],” the report says.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.



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One comment on “Rising Use of HFCs Could Accelerate Global Warming, UN Says

Leo Tuttle

Saving our communities and our environment is about capital but first and foremost about mindset: with industrialization our simple life styles have disappeared, our perceived needs and wants increased drastically. With these changes also our shared respect for nature and acknowledgment of the symbiotic relationship we enjoy with the earth, with the land and the nature. We need to look back and re-cultivate this important mutual dependency.


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