- Energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling equipment is the need of the hour
- Helps reduce CO2 emissions by 460 billion tons
- Reduce cost by USD 2.9 trillion and energy by 1300 gigawatts
- Various policies can be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce climate change and environmental harm
Demand for cooling equipment goes up constantly as the temperatures rise globally. These cooling equipment release harmful gases into the atmosphere, which leads to global warming and climate change.
Implementing energy and climate -efficient cooling systems would address present-day issues with greenhouse gas emission, reveals a recent study. Implementation of policies for energy-efficient cooling during the COVID-19 pandemic would address the environmental issues as well as prevent further such pandemics.
Which are the Agencies Behind the Report?The 48-page report titled 'Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report' was released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
UNEP provides leadership and encourages partnership between nations and people to care for the environment by advancing the quality of life without compromising that of future generations. They are also the leading global voice of the environment.
A range of experts authored the report. They were under the guidance of a 15- member committee. The committee was co-chaired by Nobel laureate Mario Molina, President, Centro Mario Molina Mexico, and DurwoodZaelke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, USA.
The report is also supported by the Kigali Cooling Efficient Programme (K-CEP).
What was the Focus of the Report?The report suggests ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using climate-friendly and energy-efficient cooling systems. If efficient cooling systems are used there would be a massive reduction of about 210 and 460 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over the next four decades.
Countries need to implement these policies by integrating them with the implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Countries that signed the Kigali Amendment have agreed to use less of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are refrigerant gases that are known to cause global warming. Reduction in the use of HFCs would avoid as much as 0.4oC of global warming by 2100.
It is also essential for nations to address the issue of climate change. They need to make sure they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit the rise of global temperature to 1.5oC.
Cooling also plays a vital role in the transportation of temperature-sensitive vaccines and is essential for hot countries. The implementation of lockdowns for long periods is also a health concern in such countries. These contribute to an increase in demand for cooling and also contribute to climate change. HFCs, CO2 and black carbon are also released from air conditioners and cooling equipment.
Currently, all the countries are investing in COVID-19 recovery. UNEP Executive Director suggests that countries should use this opportunity to reduce climate change, protect nature and reduce risks of further pandemics. The government needs to accelerate the progress of energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling. They can also reduce the number of power plants and also save consumers money by using improved cooling efficiency.
What are the Current Estimates of Cooling Equipment?
- Worldwide, 3.6 billion cooling appliances are in use.
- Requirement of 14 billion cooling appliances if everyone is provided with one by 2050.
How would Energy-Efficient Cooling BenefitEveryone?Doubling energy efficiency of air conditioners by 2050 would :
- Reduce additional 1,300 gigawatts electrical capacity during peak times
- Save up to USD 2.9 trillion in costs of electricity
- Improve air quality
- Reduce food loss and waste
- Life-saving cooling
What are the Policies the Report Suggests to Implement Efficient Cooling?
- International Implementation of Kigali Amendment
- International initiatives such as Coal Coalition and Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling
- National Cooling Action Plans
- Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement
- Minimum Energy Performance Standards
- Energy Efficient Labelling
- Integration of district and community cooling into urban planning, green roofs, tree shading and improved building design
- Campaigns to stop harmful products
- Sustainable cold-chains to reduce food loss and emissions
Reference : -
- Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report: Benefits of cooling efficiency and the Kigali Amendment - (https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/33094/CoolRep.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y)