A global network of governments, cities, international organisations, academia, civil society and the private sector have announced major new commitments for efficient and climate-friendly cooling.
The latest commitments, announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, include governments pledging to develop comprehensive national cooling plans, major companies in the cooling industry pledging to cut the emissions of their products and donors providing new funding.
The cooling challenge has been referred to as a “blind spot” in climate action, which must increase at least fivefold to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
According to UN Environment Programme (UNEP), by 2050, space cooling alone will consume as much electricity as China and India today and much of the world’s projected renewables capacity.
However, moving towards using the best available technologies could reduce emissions by 38GtCO2e – 60GtCO2e by 2030 and up to 130GtCO2e – 260GtCO2e by 2050.
Some of the pledges made in support of the Cool Coalition include 26 countries, such as Bangladesh and the Philippines, adopting comprehensive national cooling plans and five countries – the Dominican Republic, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Senegal and Spain – committing to integrate cooling in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
Additional countries making cooling-related pledge are Andorra, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Djibouti, Hungary, Japan, Lebanon, Norway and the UK.
Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment of Rwanda said: “Three years ago, the world adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase out the hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gases used in cooling. If successfully implemented, the Kigali Amendment, coupled with better energy efficiency, will avoid a full one degree of warming by the end of the century. Efficient cooling is essential to achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement.”
The World Bank Group and the Green Climate Fund are also integrating clean and efficient cooling across their lending and investing portfolios while the C40 cities will work with their network of more than 90 cities to share expertise and integrate urban cooling into their climate action plans to reduce energy use and improve air quality.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen added: “Getting cooling right offers a three-in-one opportunity to cut global warming, improve the lives of millions of people and realise huge financial savings.
“The Cool Coalition is a powerful new collective force for realising these and many other benefits. UNEP is delighted to be working with such a wide range of stakeholders to accelerate the transition towards efficient, climate-friendly cooling for all.”