For twenty years, Europeans and people all over the world have had energy-efficient, climate-friendly refrigerators in their kitchens. Now, twenty years later, US consumers are finally able to buy these refrigerators, which Greenpeace launched way back in 1992.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has finally approved the use of 'Greenfreeze' technology, to replace polluting F-gases (or HFCs) in our refrigerators and freezers. This win is thanks to our persistent F-gas campaigners in the USA, who have just kicked some serious corporate-polluter butt.
F-gases make the world a lot hotter, a lot faster. Let the brave Greenpeacer who bared it all in this video explain…
In 1992, Greenpeace launched "Greenfreeze" - a natural, F-gas free refrigerant. Since then, more than 600 million “Greenfreeze” fridges have been sold worldwide by leading household brands like Bosch, Haier, Panasonic, LG, Miele, Electrolux, Whirlpool and Siemens. The annual benefit for the climate has been equivalent to taking about 4.5 million average cars off the road.
But until today, Greenfreeze fridges were not available – and were in fact illegal – in the USA! (Except for a few test units that Greenpeace and Ben&Jerry's put in place in 2008…)
Why? Because Greenfreeze hadn’t yet been certified for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
And why was this? Because the chemical companies who manufactured HFCs were lobbying against Greenfreeze for the last 19 years, because Greenfreeze threatened their profits. Amazingly, they saw these profits as being more important than our planet.
This is such ‘1%’ behaviour - and for us of the 99%, this is so not cool.
Today’s decision should see the use of Greenfreeze increase dramatically – from about 40% of the global refrigeration market today, towards a future where HFC’s can be totally phased out of all our cooling systems: fridges, air-conditioning, everything.
You can read more detail about the significance of this decision in this blog from Kert Davies at Greenpeace USA!
What can you do about F-gases?
- If you work in the cooling industry, share this report with your colleagues!
- If you’re buying a new fridge, investigate which models are using Greenfreeze technology, and tell your retailer that you don’t want to buy a fridge that relies on HFCs.
- If you're upgrading your old fridge, make sure that it is disposed of responsibly – the HFCs need to be safely reclaimed from the cooling system, rather than allowed to escape into the atmosphere over time. Investigate what whitegoods disposal services are available where you live.
- If you work in rural health, Greenfreeze technology is also being used – in combination with solar power - to deliver vaccines to areas of Africa, South-East Asia, and Latin America where electricity access is currently unreliable.
You are reading Greenpeace’s Climate Rescue blog. This blog aims to demonstrate the progress made by the ever-growing movement of thousands of organizations who are working to create political change on climate change.
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