Perfluoropolyethers

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs) used as industrial heat transfer fluids, electronic reliability testing, metal and electronics cleaning, and lubricant applications. At the time of the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol Perfluoropolyethers were not included amongst the key gases to be controlled. (See Greenhouse gases omitted from the Kyoto Protocol for more details).

PFPEs in the Post-Kyoto Protocol Agreement

Ahead of the negotiation of a successor agreement to the protocol, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have sought comments from governments on whether Perfluoropolyethers and perfluorocarbons should be included in a new agreement.

In a submission to the UNFCCC, the Australian government summarised the the uses and sources of the HFCs under consideration as being[1]:

"Only one PFPE is assigned a GWP value in the AR4. The use and relative contribution to climate change of this gas is not clear. More broadly, there appears to be a scarcity of readily available information on the global warming potentials and extent of PFPE use. These uncertainties prevent an accurate assessment of the potential for PFPEs (including the PFPE listed in the AR4) to contribute to climate change, the scope for mitigation and its costs. However, achieving greater understanding of this family of gases is important."

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References

  1. Australian Government, "Paper No 1B: Views on the coverage of greenhouse gases: Submission to the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP", August 21, 2008. (This material is in the submission on page 7 of the submissions collated by the UNFCCC.)

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