Grocery store freezers are leaking heat-trapping pollutants. A Biden directive aims to reduce emissions.
After years of inaction during the Trump administration, President Joe Biden is moving forward on an international agreement to reduce the prevalence of “super greenhouse gases.” Called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), these chemicals have up to 9,000 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. They’re also ubiquitous: Nearly every appliance we use to keep cool emits HFCs, and supermarket freezers are one of the biggest sources in the United States. A recent investigation by an environmental advocacy group found that grocery store refrigerators are also leaking the pollutant at higher rates than regulators realize, the Washington Post reported. A 2016 global agreement to reduce HFCs was stalled under Trump, but is now headed toward Senate ratification.