The growing requirement for access to cooling risks increasing energy demand and causing further climate change impacts if highly efficient technologies aren’t used.
That’s according to UN-led green platform Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), which has announced a new initiative to identify the challenges and opportunities involved in ensuring people in hotter climates have universal access to cooling technologies.
The group says as global temperatures climb higher and higher, cooling solutions become increasingly important – the announcement follows record-breaking temperatures of 53.9°C recorded last month in Iran.
It added cooling solutions aren’t just air conditioning but also include cold supply chains for fresh produce and the storage of life saving vaccines and medicines, as well as safe work and educational environments that maximise productivity and quality of life.
The work is funded by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme, part of the Montreal Protocol’s goals to limit the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.
The group is to establish an expert panel of leaders from government, academia, civil society, business and finance to develop a comprehensive report exploring how to accelerate the uptake of cooling solutions.
Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Executive Director of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, said: “Life depends on cooling, especially in a warming world. Yet not everyone has access to cooling. That has to change.
“It’s time to reap the benefits of cooling for people across the world, whilst limiting the impact on the climate. We can’t keep cooling down by warming the planet up.”