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  2. Climate Change & Energy
  3. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
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Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

A page number:633-984-070

Last updated date:2019/9/11

Because of their high impact on global warming, fluorocarbons—which are used as refrigerants in air conditioners and refrigerators—need to be managed appropriately during the use of equipment, as well as need to be recovered at the time of disposal of said equipment, in order to prevent them from being released to the atmosphere.

The Law concerning the Recovery and Destruction of Fluorocarbons concerning Designated Products, enforced in April 2002, made it obligatory to recover fluorocarbons when commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is disposed of.

However, because emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with high global warming potential (GWP) released into the atmosphere kept increasing, the act was revised and came into effect under the name of the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons (commonly known as “Fluorocarbons Emission Control Law”) in April 2015, as a measure to achieve comprehensive management of fluorocarbons throughout their life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal.

The new act mandates appropriate management of equipment using fluorocarbons, requiring managers of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in particular to inspect their equipment, record and store the inspection results, and report the amount of fluorocarbons leaked, among other measures.

The Act on Recycling, etc. of End-of-Life Vehicles and the Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances are also in effect for the recovery and disposal of fluorocarbons from automotive air conditioners and from home air conditioners and refrigerators, respectively.

In its Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Master Plan formulated in March 2016, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has set a target of reducing HFC emissions by 35% compared to FY2014 levels by FY2030 and is implementing various measures to curb HFC emissions.

Ensuring thorough implementation of the Fluorocarbons Emission Control Law

To ensure that fluorocarbons are managed appropriately while equipment is in use, TMG conducts on-site inspections and collaborates with local commercial and industrial organizations to provide guidance to managers of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. To ensure the recovery of fluorocarbons at the time of disposal of equipment, TMG inspects building demolishing on-site in cooperation with construction, industrial waste, and other related departments, while also organizing lectures to provide guidance regarding legal compliance for class I fluorocarbon filling and recovery operators.

Promoting popularization of energy-saving, non-fluorocarbon equipment

TMG subsidizes the expenses for introducing energy-saving, non-fluorocarbon refrigeration and cold storage showcases, mainly for medium and small enterprises, as a part of its efforts to promote the popularization of equipment that does not use fluorocarbon refrigerants.

Tokyo Metropolitan Council for the Recovery and Disposal of Fluorocarbons

TMG established the Council for the Recovery and Disposal of Fluorocarbons in 1997 for the purpose of promoting the appropriate recovery and disposal of fluorocarbons from commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, and automotive air conditioners. Activities of the council, which is made up of related trade associations and municipalities, include the promotion, education, and sharing of information on the recovery and disposal of fluorocarbons.

Obligating automotive sellers to explain environmental impact of fluorocarbons of automotive air conditioners

TMG revised the Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Security Ordinance in October 2015 to make it obligatory for automotive sellers to explain the environmental impact of fluorocarbons used in automotive air conditioners, as well as provide their customers with environmental information, including emission performance of automobiles that the customers intend to purchase.


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