Germany: Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases in Products and Processes - Technical Climate Protection Measures – Report

Early 2004, the German Environment Agency published a report on fluorinated gases. Fluorinated gases covered in the German Climate Protection Programme are HFCs, PFCs and SF6. The German government first introduced a Climate Protection Programme in 2000 and added fluorinated gases as a separate module to this programme. The government further specified measures with regards to fluorinated gases in mid-2002 in a key issues paper on the implementation of the national Climate Protection Programme in the area of fluorinated gases. The present report covers possible abatement techniques and lays the groundwork for the continuation of climate protection efforts. HFCs, PFCs and SF6 are used today in much the same way as CFCs and halons were used in the past, i.e. in products such as propellants, blowing agents, refrigerants, fire extinguishing agents, etc. According to this report, forecasts predict a continued sharp rise in the use of fluorinated gases: in 2020 they are anticipated to have a global annual market volume of up to 500 000 tonnes, Europe accounting for 100 000 tonnes and annual emissions of different fluorinated gases up to 2020 may total around 330 000 tonnes worldwide, with HFCs accounting for 95% of this total. Owing to their high GWP and in the light of the emissions reduction commitment within the EU, some countries have already planned or adopted emissions reduction measures. However, to reduce emissions it is necessary to use substitutes or apply alternative technology in addition to the implementation of technical measures. This report provides information on the different uses of these gases and describes technically and economically feasible emissions abatement measures. It considers that in almost all areas of application, it is possible to replace fluorinated gases by halogen-free alternatives. Substitution measures, in several applications, have high climate protection potential. In others, substitution possibilities are either not available or still under development; hence, alternative emission abatement measures are required for these. For more information: (English version available).