Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Fridge chemical '14,000 times as harmful as CO2'

Published Date: 03 February 2010
By Clare Baillie
THE use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in supermarket fridges should be banned as part of efforts to fight global warming, MPs demanded yesterday.
They claimed HFCs can be up to 14,000 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.The cross-party group of 30 MPs said that the chemicals accounted for a third of the carbon footprint of most of the major food retailers.In a Commons motion, they highlighted the "significant role" changes to supermarket refrigeration could play in cutting UK greenhouse gas emissions.Tabled by Labour MP Clive Efford, the motion states: "Hydrofluorocarbons can be up to 14,000 times more harmful in terms of global warming than carbon dioxide. We are concerned that HFCs, used in supermarket refrigeration units, account for one-third of the carbon footprint of most supermarkets."The motion calls on the government "to promote the use of HFC-free refrigeration and to introduce legislation to phase out HFCs in large supermarkets as a matter of urgency".