Protecting the environment with intelligence

Climate-Changing Refrigerants

Climate Changing RefrigerantsWhile much of the climate change debate is focused on cutting CO2 emissions, the growing use of a group of gases called F-gases has the potential to cancel out these efforts.

EIA’s campaign is primarily focused on HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), third generation gases produced by chemical industries in response to the phase-out of ozone-depleting CFCs and HCFCs. Used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, these super greenhouse gases (so-called because their Global Warming Potentials are often thousands of times higher than CO2) are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. If left unchecked, global HFC emissions in 2050 are predicted to represent 9-19 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Find out more about EIA’s investigations into the dodgy carbon trading schemes.

The good news is climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs and we are campaigning hard for a global phase-out of HFCs. EIA believes this is best achieved through the Montreal Protocol, which already has a proven track record of phasing out CFC refrigerants, also super greenhouse gases.

In the UK, supermarkets are the biggest source of HFC emissions, with leaking refrigerant gases accounting for about one-quarter of a retailer’s carbon footprint. EIA’s work has seen a radical improvement in the uptake of climate-friendly alternatives and genuine commitments from UK retailers to go HFC-free in the future. Find out more about our Chilling Facts campaign.