Briefing Note on the Workshop on HFC Management

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

The Workshop on Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Management convened from 11-12 July 2014 in in Paris, France. The workshop was convened in response to discussions held at the twenty-fifth Meeting of the Parties (MOP 25) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The sessions addressed four topics related to HFC management, namely: technical aspects; legal aspects; finance and technology transfer; and policies and measures. Over 300 participants from governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and industry attended the workshop, which was convened to provide an opportunity for focused and in-depth discussions on key issues related to HFC management.

This briefing note summarizes the discussions that took place and is organized according to the agenda.


On Friday morning, Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, observed that the history of the Montreal Protocol (MP) is based on mutual trust, good process and decisions taken based on the best available scientific and technical information. She explained that the workshop would begin with briefings on the current situation from the Protocol’s three assessment panels.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that ozone layer depletion contributes to climate change, and that climate change contributes to ozone layer depletion. He said UNEP projections suggest that HFC growth over the next 20-30 years may “wipe out” all progress achieved thus far in combating climate change due to the high global warming potential (GWP) of HFCs. Observing that the MP has the experience, expertise, institutions and reputation needed to find solutions to HFC use, he urged Protocol experts, together with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to address HFC concerns and issues collectively and cooperatively.

Paul Newman, Co-Chair, Scientific Assessment Panel, discussed lessons from the treatment of hydrochlorofluoro-carbons (HCFCs) under the Protocol and how the decision taken in 2007 to phase out HCFCs contributed to the growth in HFC use. He pointed out that while HFCs, as with HCFCs, have a lower ozone depleting potential (ODP) than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), they still have higher GWPs.