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Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases

Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Key Points

  • The global abatement potential from the options quantified is 994 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), 62% of projected emissions, in 2030.
  • 30% of the baseline 2030 emissions can be abated from cost-effective mitigation measures ($0 per tCO2e).
  • This sector accounts for the single largest source of non-COabatement potential accounting for over 20% of total abatement potential across all non-CO2 emitting sectors in 2030.

Sector Description

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning (AC) systems are emitted to the atmosphere during equipment operation, repair, and disposal, unless recovered, recycled, and ultimately destroyed. Equipment is being retrofitted or replaced to use HFCs that are substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. Some of the most common HFCs include HFC-134a, R-404A, R-410A, R-407C, and R-507A.

In 2030, emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning systems are projected to be 1,596 million MtCO2e, or 12% of total non-CO2 emissions. The top five emitting countries are predicted to be China, the United States, South Korea, Russia, and Japan.View or download the full size image here.(135 K, PNG)

Emissions Reduction Potential

Assuming full implementation of current technology, emissions in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector could be reduced by up to 994 MtCO2e in 2030. This accounts for 22% of the 4,615 MtCO2e in global reduction potential in 2030.

Assuming full implementation of current technology, emissions in the refrigeration and air conditioning systems sector could be reduced by up to 994 MtCO2e in 2030. This accounts for 22% of the 4,615 MtCO2e in global reduction potential for non-CO2 gases.View or download the full size image here.(115 K, PNG)

Abatement Potential

The global abatement potential from refrigeration and AC abatement is calculated to be 994 MtCO2e in 2030, or 62% of baseline emissions; additional uncalculated options are explored qualitatively. The marginal abatement cost curve results show that 479 MtCO2e, 30% of 2030 emissions, can be reduced at a cost of $0 by implementing “no-regret” options. At a cost of $20 per tCO2e, an estimated 910 MtCO2e, or 57% of baseline emissions, could be abated. All abatement options quantified are achievable at mitigation costs below $100/tCO2e.

Baseline projected global methane emissions from the municipal solid waste landfills sector in 2030. It would be cost-effective to reduce emissions by 12% compared to the baseline. An additional 49% reduction is available with increasingly higher costs.It would be cost-effective to reduce emissions by 30%, compared to the baseline, in 2030. An additional 32% reduction is available using technologies with increasingly higher costs.

View or download the full size image here.(39 K, PNG)

Abatement Measures

HFC abatement measures are categorized into three categories: 1) retrofit of existing systems to utilize lower GWP refrigerants, 2) new cooling systems to use lower GWP refrigerants and/or reduce the charge size, and 3) better refrigerant management practices that reduce emissions during use, servicing, and disposal. Such options are analyzed for end-uses, including retail food refrigeration systems, window and unitary AC equipment, motor vehicle AC systems, and other types of cooling systems.

Achievable reductions in refrigeration and air conditioning systems HFC emissions, by technology, in 2030. The solid bars show reductions achievable at a cost less than $0/tCO2e, and the fading bars show the reductions achievable at a higher prices.Emissions reductions by technology in 2030 at $0/tCO2e and at higher prices.

View or download the full size image here.(61 K, PNG)

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