UNEP’s 2020 report highlights how reductions of between 210 and 460 billion tons of CO2 equivalent emissions can be delivered over the next four decades through actions to improve the cooling industry’s energy efficiency together with the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants. The report says countries can institutionalize many of these actions by integrating them into their implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Signatories to the Kigali Amendment have agreed to reduce the production and use of climate-warming HFCs, which has the potential to avoid as much as 0.4°C of global warming by 2100 through this step alone.
The report lays out the available policy options available that can make cooling part of climate and sustainable development solutions, including:
- International cooperation through universal ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment and initiatives such as the Cool Coalition and the Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling
- National Cooling Action Plans that accelerate the transition to climate-friendly cooling, and identify opportunities to incorporate efficient cooling into stronger Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement
- Development and implementation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards and energy efficiency labeling to improve equipment efficiency
- Promotion of building codes and other considerations to reduce demand for refrigerant and mechanical cooling, including integration of district and community cooling into urban planning, improved building design, green roofs, and tree shading
- Campaigns to stop environmentally harmful product dumping to transform markets and avoid the burden of obsolete and inefficient cooling technologies
- Sustainable cold-chains to both reduce food loss — a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions — and reduce emissions from cold chains