Cooling is key to human health and prosperity, and is increasingly important as the world experiences rapid urbanisation, economic growth and rising temperatures.
But the technology underpinning cooling poses an urgent environmental threat. Current cooling systems use potent greenhouse and consume large amounts of energy, usually derived from fossil fuels, therefore driving climate change. Growing demand for air conditioning alone in the world’s emerging economies will drive a 64 per cent increase in household energy use, and produce 23.1 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2040.
At the same time, the International Energy Agency estimates that improving energy efficiency could provide almost 40 per cent of the emissions reductions needed to stay within the 2-degree Celsius ceiling for staving off the worst effects of climate change.
To slash the use of high GWP refrigerant gases and curb energy consumption, the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol was launched in 2016, legally binding countries that had signed the original treaty to a timetable to replace climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons with sustainable alternatives.
The success of the Kigali Amendment could prevent up to 0.5 degree Celsius of warming from the phase down of HFCs. Increasing the energy efficiency of cooling could double the climate benefits. The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), funded by 18 foundations and individuals, aims to help realise this huge climate prize. K-CEP advocates energy-efficient, sustainable cooling by focusing on four areas—increasing energy efficiency, engaging governments for better policies, creating pathways to financing, and providing access to cooling for all.
This January, the Asean Cooling Summit in Bangkok will convene regional leaders to examine the topic of cooling in the context of sustainable development and identify solutions.
What are the opportunities for Asean countries in achieving more energy-efficient cooling? How can all sectors work together to prevent up to 1 degree Celsius of temperature rise? How will new technologies in cooling shape how we build cities?
We invite you to join in the conversation at the Asean Cooling Summit, hosted by K-CEP in partnership with Eco-Business and the United Nations Environment Programme. Register here!