HFCs are potent greenhouse gases, the use of which is growing rapidly. They are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances (CFCs and HCFCs) in refrigerators, air conditioners and insulation materials. RIVM assesses their contribution to the greenhouse effect, both now and for the future. RIVM also advises several governments on HFC emission reduction measures. RIVM conducts research in collaboration with various American institutes.

The contribution of HFC to the greenhouse effect is currently limited, less than 1 percent of that of CO2. An RIVM study shows that the contribution of HFCs to the greenhouse effect may increase to 10 percent in 2050 if the use of HFCs worldwide continues to grow at the current rate. HFC emissions are expected to rise particularly in countries with emerging economies such as China, India, and other Asian countries. Without reductions in HFC use, approximately 50 percent of the emissions will be due to refrigerators and approximately 30 percent will be due to air conditioners in 2050.

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