Environmental context. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are potent greenhouse and stratospheric ozone depleting trace gases. Their atmospheric concentrations are in decline, thanks to global production and consumption controls imposed by the Montreal Protocol. In recent years, the rates of decline of CFC atmospheric concentrations, especially for CFC-11 (CCl3F), are not as large as anticipated under the Protocol, resulting in renewed efforts to estimate CFC consumption and/or emissions to possibly identify new or poorly quantified sources.. Australian emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been estimated from atmospheric CFC observations by both inverse modelling and interspecies correlation techniques, and from CFC production, import and consumption data compiled by industry and government. Australian and global CFC emissions show similar temporal behaviour, with emissions peaking in the late-1980s and then declining by ~10 % per year through to the present. Australian CFC emissions since 1978 account for less than 1 % of global emissions and therefore make a correspondingly small contribution to stratospheric ozone depletion. The current CFC emissions in Australia are likely from ‘banks’ of closed-cell foams, and refrigeration–air conditioning equipment now more than 20 years old. There is no evidence of renewed consumption or emissions of CFCs in Australia. The reduction in CFC emissions has made a significant contribution to reducing Australian greenhouse gas emissions.
- Keywords: atmospheric and ‘bottom-up’ emissions estimates, Australian and global chlorofluorocarbon emissions, emission estimates by inverse calculations and interspecies correlation, impacts on ozone depletion and climate change.