Greenpeace supports the Refrigerants, Naturally! partnership. We are happy to publicly laud the work of The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, McDonald`s, and PepsiCo -not companies many would regard as Greenpeace's natural allies- in working towards a phase-out of HFCs in their point-of-sale cooling equipment.
HFCs are gases regulated internationally under the Kyoto Protocol as part of the 'basket of gases' which includes the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, but also others like methane and nitrous oxide. HFCs are not naturally present in the atmosphere but are entirely manufactured. Despite their regulation they receive relatively little political and public attention. However, research for Greenpeace from Germany's Öko-Recherche Institute shows that if left unchecked, in 2050, HFCs will do as much damage to the climate as all passenger cars do today when looking at the gases' impacts in the 20 years after their release. According to NASA researchers, a global temperature rise of around 0.15-0.25°C could be due to so-called "F-gases" (of which the most important are HFCs) by second half of 21st Century - given the amount of climate change already inevitably in store for us, avoiding this could be highly significant.
So although the immediate impact of action on HFCs may seem small, the long-term impact is great. Company action now, as seen in the Refrigerants, Naturally! group, to shift technology towards "Greenfreeze" refrigeration is potentially very important. Greenpeace are calling on other major companies to join the initiative to gain critical mass in the global cooling market. In the face of political and legislative weakness in US and Europe, companies can lead the way.
Paula Tejón Carbajal
F-gases international coordinator
Ottho Heldringstraat 5
1066 AZ Amsterdam
Tel: +31(0) 20 718 2061
Fax: +31(0) 20 514 8151