Wheels in motion: towards an international phase-down of HFCs

In a year that has seen concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide pass the 400ppm mark and the world’s scientific community issue its starkest warning yet that human activities will result in far-reaching disruption of the climate system, the need to swiftly rein in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions has never been more acute. Against this backdrop, nations around the world are gearing up to tackle HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), by far the fastest growing source of global man-made emissions. Recent events indicate that 2013 could mark a major turning point in the journey towards a global agreement on eliminating these super greenhouse gases, which owe their existence to the ongoing and successful phase-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) under the Montreal Protocol.