The recent heatwaves in Europe this past few weeks are a blunt reminder of the world’s race against the impacts of climate change. Roughly 1.1 billion people globally lack acess to cooling which not only leaves them vulnerable to extreme heat, but also contributes to food wastage due to a lack of proper refrigeration.
As populations continue to grow, it is imperative we seek improvements in food production as we cannot afford to waste this amount of agricultural output, and associated water.
As a result, influencers like the Envrionmental Defense Fund (EDF) are working to create more energy-efficient refrigeration methods. EDF advocates that through innovation and implementation, companies can both improve the quality of life for millions and minimize climate impacts of refrigeration technologies.
The vision would be a complete HFC-phase out for next-generation cooling technologies, as the latest IPCC report noted the use of chemical refrigerants alone will account for a temperature increase of 0.5°C, or more, by 2100.
An evaluation of large-scale, deployable climate solutions was conducted by Project Drawdown that further indicated the management of high-global warming refrigerants in cooling technologies, including both refrigeration and space applications, is the best solution for reducing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere.
New international policies are now triggering action to phase-out HFCs. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has been adopted by 73 countries this year. The largest markets in the world are now designing regulations to implement the Kigali Amendment at the national level.
The EU ‘F-Gas Directive’ pledges to reduce HFCs 79% by 2030. China, the world’s largest producer of HFCs and AC units, also announced a national Green Cooling Plan.