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  • Emily Six

Why does Drawdown highlight refrigerants?

What is Project Drawdown?

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit made of scientists and research who want to fight the climate problem head on. It gives information about how to stop the climate from getting worse and creates a catalogue of solutions as well as a roadmap to “Drawdown”-- the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.

Project Drawdown published its best-selling book “Drawdown” in 2017 and has established itself as a leading resource for climate solutions.

Drawdown scenarios and HFCs

In Project Drawdown’s 2020 Review, there are two proposed scenarios to achieve drawdown. Project Drawdown analyzed currently available solutions to create a roadmap toward emission reductions and determined that up to 108.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent can be avoided by adopting refrigerant solutions. This potential dwarfs other popular options like forest management (4.4 gigatons) and recycling (5.5 gigatons).

In both scenarios, refrigerant management and alternative refrigerants rank in the top 10 most impactful, cost-efficient, and scalable solutions. Fluorinated gases pack quite the greenhouse punch, so they represent an accessible opportunity to greatly reduce the overall footprint of your operations.

Short-lived pollutants, big impact

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)' 2021 report, HFCs are the fastest-growing category of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The climate impact of HFCs can be several thousand times that of carbon dioxide. This, combined with HFCs' short atmospheric life, gives us a unique opportunity: we can reduce projected temperature increases in the next decades.

Addressing short-lived climate pollutants like HFCs means that we can realize substantial global temperature reductions in a relatively short timeframe. We can cool the earth and potentially provide a buffer period for more aggressive solutions to be developed.

Taking the long view

The climate fight will be won in a series of near-term victories combined with the creation of longer-term solutions. We have everything needed to achieve a victory in the refrigerant space. The technology is solid, the materials are there. Adopting natural refrigerants can buy the earth time to develop the remaining solutions that are needed to combat climate change.