CFCs Are Back on the Rise Following an International Ban, New Study Finds

"A U.S. chemical plant in Louisiana that produces a common refrigerant may be partly to blame for increased emissions of CFCs—chemicals thousands of times more potent at warming the planet than carbon dioxide."

"Emissions of a small group of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), man-made chemicals that destroy Earth’s protective ozone layer and fuel global warming, are back on the rise after their production was all but banned more than a decade ago, a new study concludes.

Emissions of the vast majority of CFCs have steadily declined since countries phased out production and use of the pollutants in 2010 under an international environmental treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. However, emissions of a subset of five CFCs have risen since the ban took effect, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The study did not determine the source of emissions, but suggested that manufacturing of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemical refrigerants that replaced CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals, may be to blame, because at least some of the CFCs detected in the atmosphere are permitted byproducts in the manufacture of HFCs, which are produced primarily in China and the United States."

Phil McKenna reports for Inside Climate News April 3, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 04/04/2023