Fluorinated greenhouse gases and Kigali amendment
Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) possess high global warming potential (GWP) and are mostly used to replace ozone-depleting substances (CFC, HCFC, halons). HFCs, the most widespread F-gases, usually serve as refrigerants in refrigeration equipment, air-conditioners, and heat pumps. The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol was adopted to regulate their use and develop the phase-out schedule. In the Russian Federation HFCs are included in the list of substances under state control and should be recorded and reported according to the established procedure.
What are fluorinated greenhouse gases
Fluorinated greenhouse gases are synthesized substances with considerable contribution to global warming.
To express the extent to which F-gases influence global warming, global warming potential (GWP) is applied, with the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) taken as a unit of measure. So, a substance with GWP equal to 1,430 (HFC-134a) affects climate 1,430 times more than the equivalent weight of CO2.
F-gases traditionally include hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), electronegative gas (sulfur hexafluoride, SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Ozone-depleting substances like CFCs and HCFCs also contain fluoride and feature global warming potential but usually are not included in this group.
F-gases have thousand times greater GWP than CO2, so their release into the atmosphere has a significant adverse impact on climate.
Where and how F-gases are used
Most widespread F-gases, HFCs, were synthesized in the 1990s as ozone-safe alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (CFCs, HFCs, and halons) that have already been or are now being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are used as refrigerants in commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment, air-conditioners, and heat pumps, and as foaming, fire extinguishing agents, propellants, and solvents. The most typical HFCs are R-134a, R-404a, R-407a, R-410a.
Long before the signature of the Montreal Protocol, PFCs and sulfur hexafluoride have been widely used in the production of electronic equipment, cosmetics, and drugs, and the refrigeration industry. PFCs, in particular, were used as fire extinguishing agents in fire-extinguishing systems, and sulfur hexafluoride, due to its excellent electrically insulating and arc-interruption properties, in high-voltage electrical plants.
Nitrogen trifluoride is mostly used in the plasma etch process in manufacture of LCD displays, solar cell panels, and other microchips. Its consumption grew fast in the 1990s with the rampant development of microelectronics production.
Kigali amendment and Russian legislation
Phase-out of ODSs under the Montreal Protocol significantly smoothed the way to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. That is why it was reasonable to use mechanisms of the Montreal Protocol to control the management of F-gases that filled a niche of CFCs and HCFCs.
At XXVIIIth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (Ruanda, October 10-15, 2016), the Kigali amendment was adopted, providing phase-out of consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Consumption levels (including the baseline) of HFCs are calculated not in ozone-depleting potential tons but GWP tons (CO2 equivalent).
The amendment came into effect on January 1, 2019, and measures to control HFC trade will become effective on January 1, 2033. As of August 2021, the amendment was ratified by all the 122 parties to the Montreal Protocol. The Russian Federation joined the amendment on January 1, 2021, by regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation No.333 dd. March 25, 2020.
Nineteen HFCs were added to the list of substances under state control introduced by regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation No.228 dd. March 24, 2014.
The Kigali amendment establishes different HFC phase-out schedules for four groups of countries: two groups of developing and two groups of developed countries.
|Group I||Group II||Group III||Group IV|
|Freezing||–||–||2024 (100%)||2028 (100%)|
|Stage 1||2019 – up to 90%||2020 – up to 95%||2029 – up to 90%||2032 – up to 90%|
|Stage 2||2024 – up to 60%||2025 – up to 65%||2035 – up to 70%||2037 – up to 80%|
|Stage 3||2029 – up to 30%||2029 – up to 30%||2040 – up to 50%||2042 – 70%|
|Stage 4||2034 – up to 20%||2034 – up to 20%||–||–|
|Stage 5||2036 – up to 15%||2036 – up to 15%||2045 – up to 20%||2047 – up to 15%|
|Countries||Non Article 5 Countries excluding Group II||Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan||Article 5 Countries excluding Group IV||India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E.|
|Base level ||Average HFC consumption in 2011–2013 + 15% of HCFC base level||Average HFC consumption in 2011–2013 + 25% of HCFC base level||Average HFC consumption in 2020–2022 + 65% of HCFC base level||Average HFC consumption in 2024–2026 + 65% of HCFC base level|
Reporting legal requirements
On March 16, 2021, the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission adopted resolution No.30 which added nineteen HFCs to goods that may be imported into the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union or exported from it as per approval.
Relevant procedures are adopted by each member of the Commission. In the Russian Federation, a two-stage mechanism was introduced: an exporter or importer first obtains a permit from the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage, and then a license from the Ministry of Industry of Trade.
Regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation No.333 dd. March 25, 2020 “On adoption by the Russian Federation of the amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” added nineteen HFCs to the list of substances under state control introduced by regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation No.228 dd. March 24, 2014.
Draft regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation “On amending the regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation dd. March 24, 2014, No.228 “On measures of the state regulation of consumption and circulation of ozone-depleting substances” has been developed to introduce a form for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs to report on the amount of HFCs produced, and establish the procedure to report on imported and exported amounts of substances under control by volume and by CO2 equivalent.
- Hu, L., et al. (2017), Considerable contribution of the Montreal Protocol to declining greenhouse gas emissions from the United States, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 8075–8083, doi:10.1002/ 2017GL074388.
- The HFC base level for the Russian Federation is 48,729,257 t CO2-eq.