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CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs and other refrigerants are powerful global warming gases, up to 11,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Despite success of the Montreal Protocol in phasing out production of the most harmful gases, a large amount of refrigerants – produced prior to phase-out deadlines – remain in equipment, products, building infrastructure, and other inventories around the world. Collectively, these refrigerants pose a threat not only to the ozone layer but to the climate system as well. Without proper containment, management and other end-of-life solutions, eventually these refrigerants will be emitted into the atmosphere, effectively cancelling out other climate protection efforts happening around the world.
Chart showing relative global warming potential of CFC 11 & 12 compared to CO2.