51 MPs are so far in support of promoting the use of HFC-free refrigeration and introducing legislation to phase out HFCs in large UK supermarkets. Several retailers have also taken action on the issue.
Early Day Motion (EDM) 768, tabled by Labour Member of Parliament Clive Efford on 1 February 2010, draws the attention of the House of Commons to the significant role that supermarket refrigeration plays in reducing the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.
The new EDM notes that “HFCs, used in supermarket refrigeration units, account for one third of the carbon footprint of most supermarkets” and “calls on the Government to promote the use of HFC-free refrigeration and to introduce legislation to phase out HFCs in large supermarkets as a matter of urgency”.
Early Day Motions are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons and serve mainly as a means of demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view. Already 51 out of a total of 646 MPs support the EDM on phasing out HFCs in large supermarkets.
Already in 2009 MP Clive Efford presented the “Hydrofluorocarbons Limitation Bill 2008 - 09” (Bill 127), seeking to limit the use of HFCs in large supermarkets. He also tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) on the same issue.
UK retailers recent actions and reactions
Following the publication earlier this week of a report assessing which of the leading supermarket retailers in the UK have made progress with eliminating high-GWP HFCs from their fridges, several retailers have reacted:
Tesco: Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco announced this week its plan to invest over £100 million with British green technology companies over the coming year as it steps up its efforts to halve carbon emissions by 2020. It plans to invest the money in R744 refrigeration systems, combined heat and power technology and electric car charging stations.
Waitrose: According to a recent press release, the retailer “has installed the [hydrocarbon refrigeration] system in four of its shops - the most recent being in Wellington, Somerset, which opened on 28 January. At least 25 more shops are planned for 2010”.
M&S: The online version of the RAC Magazine reports that Marks and Spencer has unveiled new refrigeration targets as part of the next phase of its environmental policy. “M&S committed to removing HFCs from all its refrigeration and air conditioning by 2030 and underlined its intention to install CO2 systems at all its new stores”.
UK readers take action!
In order to get as much support for the EDM as possible all MPs need to sign it and they are in turn more likely to do so if they are asked by their constituents. To urge your MP to support natural refrigerants in supermarkets: