Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Supplies Reported to the GHGRP
Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-GHGs) include the most potent and longest lasting greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) covers emissions of these compounds by requiring specific facilities that emit significant quantities of these compounds to report their annual emissions. These emitters include producers of fluorinated gases (F-gases) and other emitters of F-GHGs. The GHGRP also requires companies that supply these compounds (i.e. producers, importers and exporters) to report the quantity of each gas supplied each year. This page contains information about supplies and emissions of F-gases and presents summary data and graphics. For more general information about fluorinated greenhouse gases, please visit the Overview of Greenhouse Gases page.
On this page:
- Overview of Suppliers and Emitters of Fluorinated GHGs
- Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs
- Fluorinated GHG Emissions from Fluorinated Gas Production
- Other Emissions of Fluorinated GHGs
- Other Resources
Overview of Suppliers and Emitters of Fluorinated GHGs
The types of facilities can be broken into producers and suppliers, as well as other emitters.
- Suppliers: These companies report information about the GHGs that they supply to the economy. Suppliers report the GHGs that would be emitted if all products that they produce, import, and export were released to the atmosphere by their customers. Data reported by suppliers of these gases are important because most emissions of these compounds come from small pieces of equipment (refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.) whose direct emissions are not reported to the GHGRP.
- Producers: These facilities emit fluorinated greenhouse gases during production of fluorinated chemicals for industrial and commercial use. Thus, many of these facilities are both emitters and suppliers of fluorinated GHGs.
- Other emitters: These facilities either:
- Generate fluorinated greenhouse gases as unintentional by-products of industrial processes (e.g., aluminum production); or
- Receive and subsequently use fluorinated greenhouse gases in certain manufacturing processes (e.g., electronics) or equipment. Some fluorinated greenhouse gases are unintentionally released from these manufacturing processes or equipment.
The following diagram illustrates the types of facilities required to report fluorinated greenhouse gas data to the GHGRP.
Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs
Suppliers of GHGs (3 and 9 in the diagram) include producers, importers, and exporters of industrial gases (including F-GHGs) and importers and exporters of F-GHGs in pre-charged equipment (e.g. air conditioners, circuit breakers) and closed-cell foams. All producers must report. Additionally, companies that import or export 25,000 metric tons CO2e or more of F-GHGs, N2O and CO2 per year, either in bulk or in pre-charged equipment and closed-cell foams, must report their imports and exports. View a summary of the net supply of F-GHGs, using data reported under Subpart OO and Subpart QQ. The "net supply" or "net CO2e" means the CO2e quantities of bulk gas produced + imported – exported – transformed – destroyed.
GHGRP Data Relevant to the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act
Among other provisions, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 directs EPA to develop a U.S. production baseline and a U.S. consumption baseline and to phase down HFC production and consumption relative to those baselines. Data reported to the GHGRP under Subpart OO (Suppliers of Industrial Greenhouse Gases) are relevant to the production and consumption baselines. View tables that provide aggregated Subpart OO data about net supply and imports for AIM-listed HFCs from all companies that reported AIM-listed HFCs. Note that there are slight differences between the HFCs listed in the AIM Act and those listed in the Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs section above.
Fluorinated GHG Emissions from Fluorinated Gas Production
Facilities with F-gas production processes (1 and 2 in the diagram) must report to the GHGRP if their emissions, in the absence of controls, would equal 25,000 metric tons CO2e per year or more, with one exception: any facility that produces hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 must report if the production process generates hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-23 as a byproduct. In addition, facilities that operate devices to destroy more than 2.14 metric tons of HFC-23 annually must report. (Note that production facilities, like other facilities reporting to the GHGRP, can cease reporting if their emissions or supplies consistently fall below certain levels for certain numbers of years. Please see the Subpart A Information Sheet or this FAQ page. )
The five main types of fluorinated GHGs are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and other fully fluorinated greenhouse gases. These fluorinated GHGs can be emitted from F-gas production as by-products, reactants, intermediates, or products, and from process vents, leaks, container venting, or destruction processes.
HFCs are primarily used as refrigerants, foam-blowing agents, aerosol propellants, solvents and fire suppressants.[*] HFCs, among other compounds, are substitutes for chemicals that deplete the Earth’s protective ozone layer (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs and halons). These ozone-depleting chemicals are not reported under the GHGRP but are covered by EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 82 (see https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection).
The chart below shows reported emissions from F-gas production, by gas, over time. It includes data reported under Subpart O (HFC-23 emissions from HCFC-22 production) and Subpart L (F-GHG emissions from other F-gas production). Overall, emissions fell by 10.3 MMT CO2e between 2011 and 20211 due to increases in voluntary emission controls at facilities (e.g., use of destruction devices) and some variation in the types and quantities of F-gases produced. HFC-23 emissions from HCFC-22 Production fell by 68% between 2011 and 2021, while emissions of F-GHGs from other production processes fell by 55% over the same time period. Note that this chart includes only data from production emissions and that the actual produced gases (supply) are accounted for in the Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs section.
[*] One exception is HFC-23, which is primarily emitted as an unintentional byproduct from the production of HCFC-22 and other F-GHGs.
1 As of 8/12/22.
Other Emissions of Fluorinated GHGs
Other fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions come from manufacturing processes for aluminum, magnesium, electronics (e.g. semiconductors), and electrical transmission and distribution equipment (4 - 8 in the diagram). Fluorinated GHGs are also emitted as gas leaks during the filling, use, and servicing of electrical transmission and distribution equipment, which use SF6 for electrical insulation. Manufacturers of magnesium, manufacturers of electronics, and manufacturers and users of electrical transmission and distribution equipment that exceed the applicable reporting threshold must report to the GHGRP. All aluminum manufacturing facilities are required to report.
The chart below shows the quantity of each type of fluorinated greenhouse gas reported by each industry that reports direct emissions and the number of reporters in that industry, excluding F-gas producers (discussed above). It includes data reported under Subpart F, Subpart I, Subpart T, Subpart DD, and Subpart SS.
View the GHGRP Data Highlights for more information on:
- Emissions from Electronics Manufacturing
- Emissions from Electrical Equipment
- Emissions from Aluminum and Magnesium Production
1 As of 8/12/22. This does not include fluorinated chemicals production (Subparts L and O).
For 2021, reported fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions from these other emitters were about 9.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e).1
- Resources by Subpart for GHG Reporting
- GHGRP Data Highlights pages have F-GHG information by industry sector, including emission trends:
- FLIGHT (search for reporting facilities by location or industry sector)
- Envirofacts (download all data reported by these facilities)
- U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer