Letter: Greenpeace did help on fridges

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Sir: In creating the impression that fridge manufacturers would have adopted hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants with or without the efforts of Greenpeace's campaigning, following the phase-out of CFCs, Richard North conveniently ignores one or two key facts.

When CFCs were phased out, European and British fridge manufacturers invested considerable resources in switching to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

HFCs were launched as the final solution to environmentally damaging refrigerants because they do not damage the ozone layer. Yet they are greenhouse gases up to 1,800 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and as such are vigorously opposed by Greenpeace.

Investment in new technology costs money and is not taken lightly. Already committed to HFCs, manufacturers would not have easily invested only a couple of years later in another technology. Clearly, the move to hydrocarbons only came as a result of consumers responding to Greenpeace campaigns and pressure on manufacturers from Greenpeace's constant publicity and lobbying.

To imply that without Greenpeace, HCs would have caught on anyway is either naive or in gross ignorance of the facts.


General Manager, Calor Gas Refrigeration

Slough, Berkshire