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The way you dispose of old air conditioning units can have a huge impact on the clima
The way you dispose of old kitchen appliances and air conditioning units can have a huge impact on the climate

Whether you are a farmer in Kenya transporting milk to the local market, the owner of a London cornershop or a patient undergoing chemotherapy in Japan, we all rely on devices that keep us, and the things we consume, cool. Without fridges our food would quickly go off, milk would rapidly sour and food poisonings would likely skyrocket.

In the coming months, refrigeration is likely to play a vital role in the current pandemic too. As vaccines begin to roll out, they will need enormous cold-storage supply chains for them to be manufactured, distributed and stored until they are administered. Many other life-saving medications – from insulin to antibiotics – also need to be stored in this “cold-chain” to prevent them from degrading and becoming useless.

In schools, offices, shops and homes in many parts of the world, refrigerants also play an important role in the air conditioning systems that keep these buildings comfortable.

The cooling industry is important, but it is also incredibly polluting – accounting for around 10% of global CO2 emissions. That is three times the amount produced by aviation and shipping combined. And as temperatures around the world continue to rise due to climate change, the demand for cooling will increase too.

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