U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is dedicated to the environment. In fact, he’s spent the past couple of months talking to government officials around the world about the potential threat air conditioners can cause to the environment.
Not only does improper equipment installation decrease your home’s heating and cooling efficiently by 30%, air conditioners can emit a harmful substance into the ozone that can cause climate change.
Back in 1987, the majority of the world’s nations agreed to phase these harmful chlorofluorocarbons out and replace them with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), compounds that were known not to harm the ozone layer. Problem is, these HFCs have been found to be harmful greenhouse gases that trap heat within the ozone, causing severe global warming.
Today, the HFCs in our environment cause about one percent of the world’s global warming. While that may not seem like much, this statistic is 23,000 times greater than the risk carbon dioxide poses.
Without taking any action, this statistic is set to rise a staggering 19% by 2050.
However, due to the consistent rise in global temperatures, more and more people are purchasing air conditioners and refrigerators to keep cool. This is especially prominent in developing countries.
“As incomes rise around the world and global temperatures go up, people are buying air conditioners at alarming rates,” Lucas Davis, faculty director at the Energy Institute at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, explains to Alternet. “Each year now more than 60 million air conditioners are sold in China, more than eight times as many as are sold annually in the United States.”
In order to combat this, John Kerry is hoping to speak to world leaders about this imminent threat. He recently reached success by speaking to the United Nations on the importance of the Paris Agreement.
This agreement, which was signed by the European Union and the U.S. earlier this year, says that each country will cut down its HFC use on a regular basis. Kerry explained that if each country was vigilant in its efforts, the global world temperature would drop by half a degree Celsius.
Kerry is set to speak in Rwanda next week about the steps Africa can take to combat climate change.