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Summary | 7 Annotations
Around the world, there are teams of people who are working to track down and destroy hidden sources of greenhouse gases - stopping them from harming the planet. Some of the gases, which are used in refrigeration, have many times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
2021/04/21 12:58
"I feel fulfilled," he says. "I've had this plant for 16 years working with plastic and glass and other waste but I've been working on refrigerants for the last three years. "I feel it's like a dream, helping the environment. Avoiding these gases from reaching the atmosphere. It's an ecstasy being able to help the planet through this work. It's very important for me."
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Ángel is part of a chain of people working to stop these gases causing damage to the planet. Teams from Tradewater, a company funded through climate offsetting, are working around the world negotiating with governments, private companies and individuals to find ways to find, secure and destroy the gases safely.
2021/04/21 12:58
These teams are jokingly referred to as "ghostbusters", because of the way their cinematic counterparts gathered up troublesome phantoms and stored them together in large "containment units". They doggedly track, trap and destroy rogue gases before they can escape and cause climate havoc.
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Some of them were also potent greenhouse gases: one, called R12 - a CFC - had a global warming potential almost 10,000 times that of CO2. A single 30lb canister of this gas contained the equivalent of 131 tonnes of CO2 in terms of it global warming potential.This is the equivalent of the average UK car driving just over a million kilometres.HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) were brought in as replacements, and helped save the ozone layer. But some of the early HFCs were, like the ozone-harming gases banned under the Montreal Protocol, potent greenhouse gases.
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Maria Gutiérrez, Tradewater's director of international programmes, says: "These gases are all over the place - in refrigeration equipment that's in use or not, but also in huge stockpiles of unused material that were purchased and never used, or confiscated when imported illegally into a country many years ago."
2021/04/21 12:58
Tradewater says its global gas recoveries have already prevented the equivalent of 4-5 million tonnes of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere, but the work continues.Ms Gutiérrez says: "We are only scratching the surface. There is so much more out there."
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