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Cooling sector’s emissions to skyrocket by 2050; sustainable measures could save trillions and benefit billions, ET EnergyWorld

New Delhi: Greenhouse gas emissions from the cooling sector are predicted to more than double by 2050, according to a new report released during the COP28 climate talks in Dubai. The report, “Keeping it Chill: How to meet cooling demands while cutting emissions,” by the UN Environment Programme-led Cool Coalition, emphasizes the urgent need for sustainable cooling measures.

The report suggests that if key measures are adopted in the cooling sector, there could be a significant reduction in power growth, potentially cutting predicted emissions by 60-96%. These measures include passive cooling, higher-energy efficiency standards, and a faster phase down of climate-warming refrigerants. Furthermore, integrating rapid power grid decarbonization could enhance the reduction of sectoral emissions.

End-users stand to benefit financially, with potential savings of up to US$1 trillion annually. Additionally, the power sector could save up to US$5 trillion. The report also highlights that approximately 3.5 billion people could gain access to life-saving cooling by 2050 if these measures are implemented.

“As temperatures rise, it is critical that we work together to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions from the cooling sector while increasing access to sustainable cooling. This access is especially important for the most vulnerable communities, who have often contributed the least to climate change but are the most exposed to its impacts,” said Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, underscored the necessity of sustainable growth in the cooling sector, saying, “The sector’s growth must not come at the cost of the energy transition and more intense climate impacts.”

The report points out the current trends indicating a rapid increase in cooling demand due to climate change, population growth, and urbanization. This is especially pronounced in regions like Africa and Asia, where cooling equipment represents a significant portion of electricity consumption.

Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation, highlighted the private sector’s role in driving sustainable cooling solutions, essential for local development needs and global carbon reduction targets.

The adoption of the report’s recommendations could lead to a reduction of approximately 3.8 billion tons of CO2e in projected 2050 emissions from the cooling sector, potentially avoiding massive investments in power generation and distribution infrastructure.

  • Published On Dec 5, 2023 at 05:36 PM IST

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