© Montage DUH aus S. Hainz u. R. Sturm (Pixelio.de)
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the traffic sector represents one of the biggest challenges in the 21th century. The number of cars is growing, especially in emerging economies. Most efforts taken to improve efficiency of cars are thwarted by heavier vehicles, more powerful engines and auxiliary vehicle equipment. In this respect, mobile air conditioning systems (MAC systems) contribute to a large extend to the vehicle’s overall fuel consumption (up to 20%).
Besides, todays vehicle air conditioning systems use the chemical refrigerant R134a (Tetrafluoroethane), a powerful greenhouse gas. It is 1.430 times as harmful as CO2. Vehicles release large amounts of R134a as a result of daily use, inadequate maintenance and accidents. According to the IPCC, some 600 million vehicles worldwide are equipped with air conditioning systems and by 2015 this figure is expected to rise to 1 000 million. The UNEP expects MAC systems being responsible for a minimum of 240 million tons of CO2-equivalents by 2020. For comparison only: In 2008, the entire road traffic in Germany emitted around 145 million tons of CO2.
The campaign is aimed at the general public in Germany and Austria, to vehicle manufacturers as well as relevant stakeholders.