Clean cooling – Call for action on energy efficiency in the context of the Kigali amendment (EACREE, SACREEE)
Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for cooling will more than triple by 2050 – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today, and this excludes demand from cold chains. Efficient electricity use is a powerful tool to improve electricity access and promote energy security, which lie at the heart of the economic and human development goals. Energy efficiency also represents more than 40% of the emissions abatement needed by 2040.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol agreed in 2016, with 115 parties to-date, adds hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to the list of substances to be phased-down, while also promoting energy efficiency in cooling technologies. This synergetic approach of promoting low GWP refrigerants and energy efficiency significantly increases the climate mitigation co-benefits of clean cooling, and creates new opportunities for the sector. Consequently, twining workshops have happened between National Ozone Units (NOUs) and energy efficiency officers, to cross fertilize and encourage cooperation.
A key solution to promote energy efficient and climate friendly cooling technologies are policies and regulations, starting with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for various cooling product groups. Globally, appliance efficiency policies have helped to halve the energy consumption of major appliances, by enabling innovation and performance, and several regions have promoted a harmonised approach on MEPS among the Member States which offers multiple benefits in terms of trade, compliance efforts and affordability to name a few.
Collaboration needs to extend beyond policymakers and standards organizations; multi-stakeholder initiatives which involve technology providers, financiers, and academia, and are centred on the active participation of youth, are needed to drive innovation and the large scale deployment of clean cooling.