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United Nations

Climate idea

Urgent Call: Reducing Cooling Emissions by 68% by 2050

As global temperatures continue to rise, the extensive use of air conditioning is amplifying the climate crisis. In response, the Global Cooling Pledge is set to be introduced at COP28, the United Nations climate summit, calling on countries, including major players like China, India, and the United States, to commit to a substantial 68% reduction in cooling-related emissions by 2050. Emissions from refrigerants and the energy consumed for cooling already contribute 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a number expected to triple by 2050. With approximately 3 billion more air conditioners projected to be in use worldwide, we face a critical environmental threat. The urgency of the situation is clear. Noah Horowitz, program director of the Clean Cooling Collaborative, emphasizes, "We cannot just have business as usual." The United Arab Emirates, holding the COP28 Presidency, is championing this commitment alongside the U.N. Environment Programme's Cool Coalition. Currently, the world is 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer on average than in the preindustrial era. With just 1.5 degrees of warming, hundreds of millions of people could face one week annually of deadly, humid heat, making cooling a necessity. To meet the Global Cooling Pledge's requirements, substantial investments in sustainable cooling technologies are essential, supported by government incentives and bulk procurement. A shift towards renewable energy is critical, as air conditioning and fans already consume nearly 20% of global electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.
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Lily Riahi, global coordinator for UNEP's Cool Coalition, underscores the importance of making cooling more efficient. This pledge marks the world's first collective effort focused on energy emissions from the cooling sector, with countries committed to reducing cooling-related emissions by at least 68% compared to the 2022 baseline by 2050, addressing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and electricity consumption. The draft pledge comprises 13 commitments, including the establishment of minimum energy performance standards for air conditioning by 2030 and the inclusion of cooling emissions in countries' overall climate action plans. Signatories are also required to publish national cooling action plans by 2026 and support the deployment of highly efficient air conditioning technologies. The success of the pledge depends on global participation, and organizers are considering the role of subnational governments and private sector involvement. The UNEP estimates that addressing cooling emissions could prevent the release of up to 86 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, a substantial reduction compared to the annual 37 billion metric tonnes of energy-related CO2 emissions. The Global Cooling Pledge represents a crucial step toward a sustainable future, allowing us to mitigate the climate crisis's worst impacts while maintaining essential cooling solutions.
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15 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Ann Nyambura

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    38 w

    The impact of refrigerants on greenhouse gas emissions is often underestimated.

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    • johnte ndeto

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      All we need is to improve on the traditional architecture as much deviation from the same has costed our climate control

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      • Rotich Kim

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        Traditional architecture from china,india is a great call to save our environment

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        • Esther Wanjiku

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          38 w

          Seems like a plausible idea

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          • walter lungayi

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            The Global Cooling Pledge is a significant step towards mitigating the impact of air conditioning on global warming. It is encouraging to see major countries like China, India, and the United States being called upon to commit to a substantial reduction in cooling-related emissions. This initiative highlights the urgent need for collective action to combat climate change and protect our planet for future generations.

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            • Lucinda Ramsay

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              A lot of traditional architecture from china, north Africa and the Mediterranean used designs like central courtyards, small windows and orientation to naturally air conditioni and cool buildings, we have moved away from common sense in our haste to have views, large windows and large houses..we can redesign and use a modern twist to reduce the need to air condition. I hate air conditioning 🀣 it's always too cold and dried out your nose!

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              • Joseph Githinji

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                38 w

                This is a great call to bing back our environment to normalcy. We must all strive to live in a sustainable way keeping in mind of our future generations. We must all strive to reduce cooling emissions by all means.

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