Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are essentially super greenhouse gases. Unlike other greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels, HFCs are not waste products. Instead, these gases are manufactured for use in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosol cans, fire protection, and solvents. HFCs were originally made and utilized as alternatives to other ozone-depleting substances by the Montreal Protocol — they didn’t work.
In the end, HFCs were found to have significant global warming potential. According to EIA Global, that potential is approximately 1,000 to 3,000 times that of CO2. Their usage changed nothing in terms of ozone depletion. Today, HFCs contribute to approximately 1 percent of GHG emissions worldwide, and in many developed nations, HFCs account for 3 percent of GHG emission, as per EIA Global.
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