Chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning can emit potent greenhouses gases. This week, the Environmental Protection agency passed regulations to curb these emissions.
Hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs, are found in cooling agents as well as in aerosols and industrial foam. The EPA’s new rule bans the use of certain chemicals in this group starting in January 2016. Although HFCs make up a small percentage of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA, some have more than 12,000 times the global warming potential of the same amount of carbon dioxide.
These regulations are part of President Obama’s push to combat climate change. Another part of this plan, a rule that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, is set to be finalized later this summer.