Could air conditioning be harmful especially when we need them the most? It seems like there are a few concepts we need to consider if we own an air-condition or any similar cooling machines. Did you know it can also contribute to global warming?
A report from United Nations state the importance of cleaning our air conditioning because this could save our planet about 460 billion tons of greenhouse gases.
According to Gabrielle Dreyfus, the cool efficiency program manager at the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, dealing with cooling technology such as air-condition systems in an inappropriate manner could mean we are cooking ourselves.
Cooling systems—which also includes refrigerators and freezers—play a vital role now in our ever-warming world. We have heard news of people dying from extreme heat (usually through a case of heat stroke) which is why cooling systems have now become household essentials, not only to the privileged.
Unfortunately, air conditioners alone are already producing tons of greenhouse gases which contributes to global warming. Back in the 1980s, scientists across countries have discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)—chemicals found in refrigerants for air conditioners—were part of the ozone layer’s depletion.
- Here’s how the sun looked like in the last 10 years
- Why you shouldn’t be afraid of the solar minimum phenomenon
- Is time travel possible?
In 1987 though, the Montreal Protocol was established by various governments which means the use of refrigerants are now halted.
Now, the problem today is that hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are being used which is more harmful than the CFCs, warming the planet up to 11,700 times more than carbon dioxide. Combine that with many people wanting to have air conditions installed.
Just last year, various governments once again convened to agree upon the Kigali Amendment along with the Montreal Protocol. This one states that HFCs should also phase out. Recently, it has been adopted by 100 countries. However, 95 countries have still not agreed with this amendment—most are major greenhouse gas emitters as well namely China, U.S. and India.
Let us point out that there are other ways to produce air conditioning and other similar cooling systems without having to use CFCs or HFCs. Advanced technology has provided us with knowledge on how to make these systems Earth-friendly.
The reports have also estimated that doubling the efficiency of air-conditioners come 2050 could potentially save about 1,300 gigawatts of electricity globally.
It is also said that energy suited air-conditioning could mean so much for economic growth as well. By doubling the energy efficiency of air condition units has the potential to save up to USD 2.9 trillion come the year 2050. This is also the reason why agreeing to the Kigali Amendment is highly encouraged.
Along with this suggestion for the healthier production of cooling systems, there is also a call to promote the building of well-insulated, energy efficient structures. Part of this is are possible constructions of green roofs or tree shading. This also assists people who receive low income because of how much they could save with such low-tech options.
The bottom point seems clear though: the world needs to do something not just on how cooling systems are produced, but on global warming overall. By considering these factors and suggestions in one aspect contributing to greenhouse gases, it is one step forward to a better world for the future.