In recent years measures have been taken in some regions in the world to reduce the use of HFCs. A new regulation came into effect in the European Union in 2014, significantly restricting the use of HFCs in the coming years. Since 2015, similar legislation is in force in the USA and Japan. The use of certain HFCs with a high global warming potential will be prohibited in the coming years for various applications in these regions.
Therefore, alternative techniques and substances are necessary for cooling and for manufacturing of foams for example. It is likely that these developments will also restrict the use of HFCs in other countries. These new regulations alone are expected to stabilize emissions of HFCs worldwide, but not to reduce them compared to current levels. Further reductions in emissions require, for example, international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Montreal Protocol.
HFCs are already included in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations climate treaty. Unlike other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), HFCs aren’t waste products, but substances produced by industry for specific applications.