The ‘Cool Coalition’ links action across the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.
The number of air conditioners in use is expected to increase from 1.2 billion today to 4.5 billion by 2050, with emissions from the sector potentially growing by 90% by 2050 over 2017 levels if no action is taken.
3 April 2019: Over 20 partners have committed to a new global initiative that aims to inspire ambition and accelerate action on transitioning to clean and efficient cooling, which can help combat climate change, achieve sustainable development and save money.
Launched at the ‘First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement,’ which convened in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 1-3 April 2019, the ‘Cool Coalition’ links actions across the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs, and aims to accelerate progress in advance of the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit.
The coalition includes ministers from Chile, Rwanda and Denmark, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society, research, academia and intergovernmental institutions. The coalition is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
Speaking about the initiative, Rachel Kyte, SEforALL CEO, underscored the need to provide sustainable cooling at speed and scale to ensure that everyone has “safe food, safe vaccines and comfort at work.” She added that hundreds of millions of people are threatened by extreme heat, and must be protected in a manner that does not increase emissions.
Renewable energy ensures access to cooling by providing needed energy in rural and off-grid areas in developing countries.
Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment, Rwanda, said that his country is working to implement a set of standards and labels for refrigerators and air conditioners, underscoring that affordable and clean cooling is critical for sustainable economic development in Africa.
Rana Adib, Executive Secretary, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), a coalition partner, pointed out that renewable energy ensures access to cooling by providing needed energy in rural and off-grid areas in developing countries.
According to a UNEP press release, the number of air conditioners in use is expected to increase from 1.2 billion today to 4.5 billion by 2050, with emissions from the sector potentially growing by 90% by 2050 over 2017 levels if no action is taken. On 1 January 2019, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol began phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used in cooling technologies and, in terms of their global warming potential (GWP), can be 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). The amendment is expected to avoid 0.4°C of warming from addressing HFCs. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), phasing down HFCs and improving energy efficiency could double the climate benefits, while saving up to USD 2.9 trillion globally through 2050 by using less electricity.
Coalition members seek to inspire action by:
- leading by example on ways to advance clean and efficient cooling;
- sharing the scientific argument for action;
- securing high-level commitments in the lead up to the Climate Action Summit;
- motivating others to meet their requirements under the Kigali Amendment and Paris Agreement;
- promoting collaboration; and
- advocating for more innovation, greater investment, better information and increased capacity to transition to cleaner and more efficient cooling.
The Cool Coalition will complement and build on ongoing programmes to advance clean and efficient cooling, such as the CCAC and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program.
Other Cool Coalition partners include, among others: the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy, C40 Cities, Energy Foundation China, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA), the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), REN21, Rocky Mountain Institute and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). [UNEP Press Release]