By phasing out production and consumption of most ozone-depleting substances (ODSs), the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) has avoided consequences of increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation and will restore stratospheric ozone to pre-1980 conditions by mid-century, assuming compliance with the phaseout. However, several studies have documented an unexpected increase in emissions and suggested unreported production of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) and potentially other ODSs after 2012 despite production phaseouts under the Montreal Protocol. Furthermore, because most ODSs are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs), there are significant climate protection benefits in collecting and destroying the substantial quantities of historically allowed production of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol that are contained in existing equipment and products and referred to as ODS “banks”. This technical note presents a framework for considering offsets to ozone depletion, climate forcing, and other environmental impacts arising from occurrences of unexpected emissions and unreported production of Montreal Protocol controlled substances, as recently experienced and likely to be experienced again. We also show how this methodology could be applied to the destruction of banks of controlled ODSs and GHGs or to halon or other production allowed under a Montreal Protocol Essential Use Exemption or Critical Use Exemption. Further, we roughly estimate the magnitude of offset each type of action could provide for ozone depletion, climate, and other environmental impacts that Montreal Protocol Parties agree warrant remedial action.
This paper recalls and documents the military leadership under the Montreal Protocol, presents indicative case studies of how technical performance of military systems was maintained or improved by adopting newer technologies and summarizes key lessons from military leadership in protecting the ozone layer. In addition to collaboration on technology development and demonstration, between 1991 and 2009, military organizations from various countries came together to conduct seven workshops specifically to review military ODS uses, share experiences with alternatives, and compare policy approaches to extract and share best practices. Lessons such as this can be applied to developing and adopting technologies that displace the need to emit greenhouse gas while improving the performance of military systems and reducing operating costs.
Environmentally harmful product dumping (“environmental dumping”) of new and used low-efficiency cooling appliances with obsolete ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas refrigerants in African countries impoverishes communities, hinders economic development, threatens ecological systems, and harms public health. The use of lowefficiency cooling appliances increases energy demand, leading to higher power plant emissions and limiting affordable energy access in African countries. These low-efficiency appliances and products contain ozone-depleting refrigerants with high global-warming potential (GWP) or ozone-safe refrigerants with high GWP. Environmental dumping of these appliances and products makes it more difficult for countries to meet their international climate obligations and for the world to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate change mitigation targets. Ghana faces high levels of environmental dumping, despite a national ban on importing used cooling appliances and established efficiency standards for new air conditioners and refrigerators. Through the Energy Commission’s Office of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, & Climate Change (REEECC), the government of Ghana is partnering with the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) to stop environmental dumping. This article provides a list of interventions that can be implemented by Ghana, by governments in countries that export to Ghana, and by industry and other stakeholders. Notably, these actions focus on the shared responsibility of exporting countries and manufacturers by calling on exporting countries to update and enhance enforcement of their laws, and on global manufacturers to stop exporting inefficient products with obsolete refrigerants to Ghana and other African countries.
Demand for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances is growing in India and is estimated to continue growing at a high rate through the middle of this century. HFCs, although not directly ozone-depleting, are highly potent greenhouse gases subject to a global phasedown under the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. As of 20 January 2022, 130 Parties have ratified the Kigali Amendment, including India. This analysis evaluates scenarios for India’s HFC demand trajectory compared to likely control obligations under the Kigali Amendment. It is based on current and projected markets for HFC-using equipment and types of refrigerants utilized now and likely to be used in the future. Sectors considered in this work include mobile air conditioning, stationary air conditioning, refrigeration, and foam blowing agents. Results suggest that India’s annual HFC demand under current market trends could reach 76 MMT CO2-equivalent (CO2e) in 2030 and 197 MMT CO2e in 2050, from 23 MMT CO2e in 2020, making no changes to the current mix of HFCs in use. The Kigali Amendment requires for compliance that India freeze its HFC consumption in 2028 at a projected level of 59–65 MMT CO2e and phase down progressively over the following 29 years; in that case, annual Indian HFC demand would peak in 2030 at a projected 57 MMT CO2e and fall to 8 MMT CO2e by 2050. This trajectory would avoid cumulative HFC use of 2.2 GT CO2e through 2050 versus the current market trends. If actions are taken to accelerate the refrigerant transition in stationary air conditioning by five years, India could peak its annual HFC demand by 2028 at 40 MMT CO2e and avoid additional cumulative HFC demand of 337 MMT CO2e between 2025 and 2050, exceeding its obligations under the Kigali Amendment.
This evaluation identifies the 12 papers that formed the scientific foundation for the Montreal Protocol parties to take bold steps to phase down HFCs via the Kigali Amendment. These thoroughly researched and clearly presented scientific papers, which were among those contributing to SAP presentations at Meetings of the Parties and were directly read and considered by treaty negotiators from party countries, made the link between HFCs and climate change apparent and persuaded skeptics and stakeholders to take action. All told, the coauthors of these dozen papers include about 40 scientists from 10 countries, reflecting the substantial degree of international attention to the problems posed by HFCs and scientific collaboration to address them.
This paper addresses what has been described as a primary concern related to patents: even if chemical companies in Montreal Protocol Article 5 Parties can develop their own methods of producing low-GWP refrigerant hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) or using them in the products they make, they could be prevented (absent a license) from selling their products at home and in key markets abroad in countries where restrictive patents have been granted to other companies, at least until the time when challenges to patents are decided or these patents expire.
This paper reviews the status of patents granted on HFO-1234yf in automotive air conditioning (AC) in the US, Europe, and China, covering the largest automotive manufacturing regions in the world. This paper primarily focuses on patents on the use of HFO-1234yf in automobiles, as opposed to patents on the manufacture of HFO-1234yf.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) can be further strengthened to control ozone-depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons used as feedstocks to provide additional protection of the stratospheric ozone layer and the climate system while also mitigating plastics pollution. The feedstock exemptions were premised on the assumption that feedstocks presented an insignificant threat to the environment; experience has shown that this is incorrect. Through its adjustment procedures, the Montreal Protocol can narrow the scope of feedstock exemptions to reduce inadvertent and unauthorized emissions while continuing to exempt production of feedstocks for time-limited, essential uses. This upstream approach can be an effective and efficient complement to other efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Existing mechanisms in the Montreal Protocol such as the Assessment Panels and national implementation strategies can guide the choice of environmentally superior substitutes for feedstock-derived plastics. This paper provides a framework for policy makers, industries, and civil society to consider how stronger actions under the Montreal Protocol can complement other chemical and environmental treaties.
In 1974, Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland warned that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could destroy the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects Earth against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation [Molina and Rowland Nature 1974, 249, 810]. In 1975, Ramanathan warned that CFCs are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) and would rival carbon dioxide (CO2) in causing climate change if left unabated [Ramanathan Science 1975, 190, 50]. The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol), arguably the most successful global environmental treaty in history, was enacted in response to these warnings. This Protocol has phased out almost 99% of the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODSs). Other papers have explored the “world avoided” by actions under the Protocol [Prather et al. Nature 1996, 381, 551; Newman et al. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 2009, 9, 2113; Morgenstern et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2008, 35, 1]. They concluded that the ozone layer would have been highly depleted across the globe by the mid-21st century without the Protocol and that the Protocol contributed significantly to reduce climate change. This paper explores what could have been achieved if the world had acted against the continued use of ODSs, which were both ozone-depleting and greenhouse gases, immediately after Molina and Rowland warned of stratospheric ozone depletion and Ramanathan warned of climate forcing using chemicals and technology that were already globally available in the mid-1970s. We show that such “precautionary principle” actions would have reduced global ozone layer depletion, reduced the extent of the ozone hole, brought forward the dates for ozone layer recovery, and helped minimize climate change.
Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) is a widely accepted metric to evaluate the carbon footprint of air conditioning (AC) systems “from cradle to grave.” This paper: (1) reviews the invention and evolution of LCCP, including a comprehensive timeline and bibliography; (2) documents the successful application of LCCP in the replacement of HFC-410A with HFC-32 in room air conditioners; (3) compares the conceptual frameworks and the operational approaches; and 4) reflects on the drawbacks of current LCCP research and points out possible future work.
The major policy-relevant findings are: 1. The indirect emissions caused by energy consumption is 70 to 80 percent of the LCCP of AC systems in most countries but will decline in importance as electric power supply shifts rapidly from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, which have near-zero carbon intensity; 2. The embodied greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in refrigerant manufacture are, in most cases, negligible but the physical and chemical properties are crucial for system optimization for low carbon footprint; 3. The LCCP metric can be used for multiple purposes such as refrigerant selection and AC system architecture optimization; and 4. Data limitations in material manufacturing and the carbon intensity of electric power are the most significant challenges. Finally, this paper describes a variety of methods to fill in data gaps, including the correction factor method, the data-driven method, and the database searching method. The next-generation LCCP will be an enhanced evaluation process considering local climate, heat islands, and local power supply characteristics.