While everybody is trying to reduce their carbon footprint, some auto makers are driving the opposite way by embracing carbon dioxide for use as a refrigerant in car air-conditioners.
According to this recent article from the New York Times supporters claimed CO2 as more ozone-friendly and 20% more energy efficient in ac systems than the current refrigerant formulation R134a (also called HFC-134a).
Under the Global Warming Potential standard, R134a has the warming potential of 1410 (1300 according to other sources) meaning the release of one gram of R134a into the atmosphere is equivalent to 1,410 grams of CO2. The release of one gram of CO2 is well...one gram.
The only problem is that the CO2 refrigerant is said to be a bit more difficult for car engines to use, according to the report.With enough incentives, I'm sure auto makers will find a way to overcome this problem.