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HCFC Phase-out: A Comparative Assessment of the Proposed Adjustments

In the early 1990s HCFCs became the first generation of substitute chemicals for CFCs and were added to the list of substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol acknowledged that these low-ODP chemicals were ‘transitional substances’ that should be used to facilitate the prompt phase out of CFCs, but ultimately they too were slated for phase out. Although having considerably lower ozone depleting potentials than CFCs, the major problem with HCFCs is their high global warming potentials, of up to 2000 times that of carbon dioxide. Under a business as usual scenario, HCFC and HFC emissions are predicted to be in the region of 2 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent in 2015.