Cooling is already responsible for 15 percent of all electricity consumption worldwide, and leaks of chemical refrigerants are a major source of greenhouse-gas pollution
Calculating the climate-change impact of an expanded Chinese cold chain is extremely complicated. Artificial refrigeration contributes to global greenhouse-gas emissions in two main ways. First, generating the power (whether it be electricity for warehouses or diesel fuel for trucks) that fuels the heat-exchange process, which is at the heart of any cooling system, accounts for about 80 percent of refrigeration’s global-warming impact (measured in tons of CO2) and currently consumes nearly a sixth of global electricity usage.
But others, like the hydrofluorocarbons that are popular in China, are known as “supergreenhouse gases,” because they are thousands of times more warming than CO2. If current trends in refrigerant usage were to continue, experts project that hydrofluorocarbons would be responsible for nearly half of all global greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
Food waste –> refrigeration in production chain –> better food quality –> more food demand –> more food waste
Possible mitigation: development of low-cost low-power (well insulated) storage.