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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


Alternative Refrigerants

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  • This article identifies alternative refrigerants as a top climate solution to reduce global warming and fight climate change.
  • This resource includes an overview of the role refrigerants have played in climate change, potential solutions, and a more in-depth look at the effectiveness and availability of alternative refrigerants.
Teaching Tips


  • This article is a great way to learn about an important solution to climate change.
  • This resource also provides ways individuals can contribute to the solution.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have an understanding of the causes of climate change and a basic understanding of how climate projections and models are developed.
  • Consider showing students this interactive table of solutions to see the rankings of solutions by scenario on the Drawdown website.


  • This article introduces international agreements such as the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Accord, which can be expanded upon for more advanced students.
  • For students interested in learning more about reducing increasing emissions by addressing refrigerants, links to the resource's references are available at the bottom of the page.
  • This resource can also be used in math classes during lessons about quantifying the impacts of certain industries and developing models.
  • Other resources that quantify the impact of climate solutions include this article on plant-rich diets and this article on health and education.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents a scenario analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions if current hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants are replaced with alternative refrigerants from 2020 to 2050. The work relies heavily on the literature, so at least a cursory review of the references cited will be necessary to understand the scenario analysis. This work does not consider indirect reductions of GHG emissions resulting from the increased efficiency of replacing HFCs with alternative refrigerants, so total CO2e emission reductions are likely to be greater than the results suggest. This resource is well sourced, provides an analysis guided by peer-reviewed literature and is suggested for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-4. Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.
  • Related Resources


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