Global Warming Potential

What does it mean?

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a refrigerant is its global warming impact relative to the impact of the same quantity of carbon dioxide over a 100 year period. All effects beyond 100 years are disregarded. HFOs and HCFO have ultra-low GWPs, most with GWPs (100 year) similar to CO2.

Because CO2 has an atmospheric lifetime much longer than HFCs, then a shorter time horizon results in higher GWPs for HFCs. The most commonly used HFCs are removed from the atmosphere quickly compared to CO2 so that short time horizons overstate their relative contribution to global warming.

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The GWP Classification Scale

GWPs are often described as for example ‘ultra-low’ or ‘high’. The Refrigeration, A/C and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (RTOC) in its 2018 Assessment Report has a chart that gives GWP ranges for ‘ultra-low’ to ‘ultra-high’.

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GWPs for HFCs/HFOs/HCFOs

Download a table containing the AR4 and AR5 GWPs, atmospheric lifetimes and applications for all the main HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs.

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Refrigerant blends subject to the F-gas Regulation

Download a spreadsheet containing compositions GWPs and safety classifications for all refrigerant blends subject to the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014.

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What GWPs are used in F-Gas Regulation

517/2014 Annexes The GWP values for HFCs are 100 year Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) values adopted by the IPCC. AR4 values are given for other substances including listed HFOs and HCFOs (Annex II) where available. The AR5 GWP values for the HFOs and HCFOs are often quoted as these are more up to date, but for F-Gas GWP calculations for mixtures under Annex IV must use those listed in the Regulation. The F-Gas Review Article 21 empowers the Commission to update Annexes I, II and IV on the basis of new Assessment Reports adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or new reports of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) of the Montreal Protocol on the global warming potential of the listed substances.

Kigali Amendment: Phase-down schedule for HFCs in Article 5 and non-Article 5 parties

Baseline and phase-down as CO2e

A5 parties (developing countries) – Group 1

A5 parties (developing countries) – Group 2

Non-A5 parties (developed countries)

Baseline formula

Average HFC consumption for 2020-2022 + 65% of HCFC baseline

Average HFC consumption for 2024-2026 + 65% of HCFC baseline

Average HFC consumption for 2011-2013 + 15% of HCFC baseline*

Freeze

2024

2028

1st step

2029 – 10%

2032 – 10%

2019 – 10%

2nd step

2035 – 30%

2037 – 20%

2024 – 40%

3rd step

2040 – 50%

2042 – 30%

2029 – 70%

4th step

2034 – 80%

Plateau

2045 – 80%

2047 – 85%

2036 – 85%