Includes leaks in a company's HVAC system, chillers, refrigerators, etc., through which refrigerant gas escapes. Most refrigerant gases contribute to global warming when leaked into the atmosphere. The quantity of leaked gas is assumed to equal the amount of gas replaced in these systems by an HVAC or chiller maintenance company.
Refrigeration and air conditioning are composed of many end-uses, including household refrigeration, domestic air conditioning and heat pumps, mobile air conditioning, chillers, retail food refrigeration, cold storage warehouses, refrigerated transport, industrial process refrigeration, and commercial unitary air conditioning systems. Historically, this sector has used various ozone-depleting substances (ODS) such as CFCs and HCFCs as refrigerants. These ODS are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and are being replaced with HFCs, HFOs, and natural refrigerants.
Emissions from the refrigeration and air conditioning sector result from the manufacturing process, from leakage over the operational life of the equipment, and from disposal at the end of the useful life of the equipment. These gases have 100-year global warming potentials (GWP) 140 to 11,700 times that of carbon dioxide, so their potential impact on climate change can be significant. Similarly, any reductions of these gases can have a large potential benefit.
This Protocol addresses emissions from manufacturing, operation, and disposal phases.