Among the most potent and longest-lived greenhouse gases are fluorinated gases, commonly referred to as F-gases. F-gases are most frequently used as refrigerants. Emissions from F-gases occur during product manufacturing as gases leak or are intentionally vented into the atmosphere, as well as via leaks over the lifetime of a product, and finally once the product is no longer in use if not disposed of properly.
The most direct way to prevent F-gas emissions is to set a standard to phase them down. For example, 148 states and the European Union have agreed to reduce the consumption of F-gases as part of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, with different phase-down schedules set for developing and non-developing countries.
As a complement to the phase-down of F-gas sales, Europe has also banned the use of F-gases in many new types of equipment (e.g., fridges, air conditioners) where alternatives are available. In addition, Europe requires periodic checks of existing equipment, as well as recovery of the gases at the end of the equipment’s life.
Taken together, these policies can materially reduce F-gas emissions and unleash innovation around cleaner, safer alternatives.
The Energy Policy Simulator includes four different F-gas policy options: F-gas substitution, F-gas destruction, F-gas recovery, and F-gas equipment maintenance and retrofits.
For a more detailed discussion, see the applicable chapter of Designing Climate Solutions, our book on smart energy and climate policy design.