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Cooling sector urged to look beyond Kigali targets with holistic sustainability approach - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Last updated: 11-27-2020

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Cooling sector urged to look beyond Kigali targets with holistic sustainability approach - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Commitments outlined within the Kigali Amendment to curb greenhouse gas emissions will not be sufficient to realise sustainable cooling without more holistic national strategies, experts have warned

Ksenia Petrichenko, economic affairs officer with the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said that international commitments under the Kigali Amendment to cut the consumption of HFCs in cooling products was only one part of the wider issue of sustainable cooling.

She said that a more holistic approach to sustainability within cooling was needed to address issues such as financial support, government policy and other development issues in countries all over the world.  Any successful attempt to build a nation-specific holistic plan would need to understand the significance of cooling to a range of different factors impacting a country’s development, Ms Petrichenko added.

She said, “The institutional responsibility in any given country is usually very scattered – there is not one single agency that is responsible for all aspects of cooling. So it really requires the engagement of diverse stakeholders and aligning different interests and agendas.

Ms Petrivhenko was speaking during a special event looking at the importance of National Cooling Action Plans that was hosted by a range of bodies and NGOs such as the UN Environment Programme and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP).  The webinar is part of a series of programmes to coincide with the 32 Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol.

A key focus of the event was the need to develop national action plans for cooling. These plans should be use of effective data and local expertise to account for the unique energy infrastructure and economic challenges to provide more sustainable cooling in an efficient and flexible means.

Brian Dean, energy efficiency and cooling lead for the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) organisation, said that truly sustainable strategies to provide cooling were not always about providing appliances such as having an AC unit or refrigeration in every home.

Mr Dean said that cooling actions plans was a concept intended to understand the core needs of a nation with regards to cooling as they relate to vital issues of comfort/safety, food/nutrition and agricultural supply, as well as healthcare functions.

Efforts to draw up national cooling plans was intended to set out a national roadmap for the policy, technology and finance options required to meet the core cooling needs of the country in line with global net-zero carbon ambitions.

Mr Dean said a key question of each plan was to ensure there was sufficient cooling capacity in a country to meet domestic needs and other important factors such as the demands of healthcare and schools and offices to ensure the wellbeing of those using such buildings.  This would also apply to understanding the scale of cooling demand from the food supply chain to address nutrition needs.

He said, “We have over a billion people that are at high risk due to a lack of access to cooling and another two billion people that are at medium risk.”


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