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Latest figures show continued rise in HFCs

EUROPE: Latest European figures show a further rise in total F-gas emissions mainly due to continued rises in HFC emissions.

The latest figures covering 2011 from the European Environment Agency show that while emissions from the other chemicals in the F-gas basket, PFCs and SF6, have reduced significantly, HFC emissions continue to rise.

F-gas emissions rose by 1.92% between 2010 and 2011. Over the same period, HFC emissions rose by 1.98% from 79.71MtCO2e to 81.29MtCO2e and in 2011 accounted for nearly 90% of all F-gas emissions.

The emissions of F-gases in the EU-27 member states rose steeply in the 1990s, before declining between 1997 and 2001. Since 2001, emissions have continued to rise steadily. In contrast to the general rising trend for EU-27 F-gas emissions as a whole, emissions of PFCs and SF6 have been considerably reduced, by 82 % and 41 % respectively since 1990. The overall growth in total F-gas emissions is therefore due to an increase in emissions of HFCs, which have almost tripled since 1990 and more than doubled since 1995. The HFC share of total F-gas emissions has risen from 47 % in 1990 to 58 % in 1995, and to 89 % in 2011.

Editor’s note: While charting the undeniable rise in HFC emissions, it should be noted that HFCs had only just begun to be used for refrigeration and air conditioning in 1990 as a replacement for ozone depleting CFCs and HCFCs. Also, these 2011 figures are perhaps too early to reflect the effects of the F-gas regulations.

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