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Your next refrigerator may cost more, but it will be more environmentally friendly. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced new restrictions on the use of hydrofluorocarbons, chemicals used in refrigerants.
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From 2022, the new rules will gradually reduce the production and import of HFCs, with a reduction target of 85% by 2037. The remaining HFCs will be allowed as there are no alternatives for their particular uses, reports the New York Times.
Reducing HFCs will significantly reduce carbon emissions in the United States and generate $ 283.9 billion in health and environmental benefits by 2050, according to the Times. Some states and countries have already passed bans, so manufacturers of household appliances and commercial refrigeration equipment are already experimenting with HFC-free products. California currently requires small refrigeration units to be HFC-free, for example, so appliance makers are responding. More than half of the refrigerators sold in the United States by GE (NYSE: GE) already use alternative chemicals, reports Inside Climate News.
Newer products are likely to be more expensive than old ones. The benefits, while large, come mostly in the form of what economists call externalities: things that help everyone, like reduced wildfires or hurricanes due to a slowdown in climate change. . The costs, meanwhile, will be borne by households, retailers and catering businesses that own refrigeration units. Meaning: we will all pay, but we hope we all benefit.
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