By TONI ELLINGTON
On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the Obama administration announced a program designed to phase out the use of R-134a, a common coolant used in refrigerators and air conditioners, because of growing evidence that the coolant is contributing to global warming. R-134a and similar compounds are used in nearly every home, office, and automobile in the country.
These coolant compounds belong to a class of chemicals called hydro fluorocarbons or HFCs, which became popular as a replacement for Freon, which was banned in the 1990s because it was damaging to the Earth’s ozone layer. According to scientists, the compounds have become significant drivers of climate change because they are more potent than carbon dioxide.
In order to accomplish the phase out of these coolants, the Obama administration sought and obtained voluntary agreements with a coalition of chemical manufacturers who produce these chemicals and retailers who use them in their businesses. Coca-Cola announced a goal to purchase only HFC-free refrigerators and cooling systems in the future. The administration also announced agreements with retailers PepsiCo, Red Bull, Target, Kroger, and Ralphs, as well as DuPont, a manufacturer of the chemical compounds. The administration will propose new amendments to the Montreal Protocol, the treaty that outlawed Freon in 1990.
For further updates on climate change initiatives and legislation, stay tuned to this blog, or contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.