The use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is expected to rapidly rise in the coming decades unless more is done to curb their growth. This according to a new report by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) and the UN Environment OzonAction Branch, which looked at HFC use in six countries and found that its average annual growth was 16 per cent.
Many HFCs have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 100s to 1000s times that of carbon dioxide. However, one of the main challenges for developing countries wanting to take early action to reduce HFCs is the limited availability of national data on current levels of HFC use and projected future demand. To help remedy this situation, the CCAC’s HFC Initiative supported voluntary national-level inventories in 14 developing countries.
The new report – titled “National Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Inventories: A summary of key findings from the first tranche of studies” – summarises the findings of HFC use from six of these countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria. All countries are expecting continued increase of HFC consumption in the coming years as ozone depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are phased out.
“Without a doubt, growing populations and economic development are exponentially increasing the demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning. If we continue down this path, without developing alternatives to HFCs and more energy efficient appliances, we will put great pressure on the climate system,” said Helena Molin Valdes, Head of the CCAC Secretariat. “This is why we are working with countries on HFC alternatives and standards, national inventories, technology demonstration projects, and sharing experiences and case studies to enhance policies and practices.”
The Coalition’s 50 State Partners strongly support the adoption of an ambitious HFC phase-down amendment to the Montreal Protocol this October in Kigali, Rwanda. A communique released by the CCAC’s High Level Assembly said that the amendment should include an early freeze and rapid action to phase down HFCs.
“Now is the time and Kigali is the place," Ms Molin Valdes said. “A HFC phase-down amendment will represent the biggest climate deal this year!”