Chemical refrigerants used in refrigeration and air conditioning are primarily hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a type of F-gas (fluorinated greenhouse gas). HFCs and other F-gases are powerful greenhouse gases that have a much greater warming effect than carbon dioxide, but are not as prevalent and stay in the atmosphere for a shorter amount of time. 


Reducing emissions from HFCs is important, and actions like the international Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol have sought to address them. Reducing the effects of HFCs on global warming includes management of leaks, proper disposal, and development of alternative refrigerants. These actions can be simulated using the “F-gases” slider in the advanced settings of Waste and Leakage.


You can also choose to phase out HFCs in new goods and equipment using the “HFC phase out start year” slider. To capture the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which specifies 80% HFC phase out by 2047, set the start year at the earliest possible year (the current year). Due to the existing capital that use HFCs and the time it takes retrofits to address all existing uses of HFCs, a complete phase out takes several decades. See this scenario in En-ROADS.