“Taking key measures to reduce the power consumption of cooling equipment would cut at least 60 per cent off predicted 2050 sectoral emissions, provide universal access to life-saving cooling, take the pressure off energy grids and save trillions of dollars by 2050” was the headline to come out of our second day at COP28 in Dubai.
This new report, published by the UN Environment Programme, Led Cool Coalition, lays out sustainable cooling measures in three areas:
- Passive Cooling
- Higher-Energy Efficiency Standards
- Faster Phase Down of Climate-Warming Refrigerants
If we followed the measures outlined in these areas, it would deliver the 60% cuts. If rapid power grid decarbonisation was added, it would reduce sectoral emissions by an enormous 96%!
So, let’s break these measures down one by one:
Passive Cooling Measures
Incorporating techniques like insulation, using natural shade, promoting airflow, and using reflective materials can significantly decrease the need for artificial cooling. By integrating these methods into building codes and urban planning, substantial energy savings can be achieved.
Implementing these approaches can potentially reduce the demand for additional cooling systems by nearly a quarter by 2050, leading to savings of up to $3 trillion in new cooling equipment costs and cutting down CO2 emissions by 1.3 billion tons.
Higher-Energy Efficiency Standards
Improving efficiency standards and providing clear labels for cooling systems can lead to a threefold increase in the efficiency of these systems globally by 2050 compared to current levels. This improvement could account for about 30% of the projected energy savings, reducing energy costs and bolstering the efficiency and economic feasibility of cooling supply chains.
Key policies for this include continuously updating energy performance benchmarks, using financial incentives to promote high-efficiency products, and implementing regulations to prevent the import of low-efficiency cooling systems into developing nations.
Faster Phase Down of Climate-Warming Refrigerants
Under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement aimed at ozone layer protection and climate change mitigation, nations have agreed to gradually reduce the use of HFCs.
A more aggressive approach could cut HFC emissions in half by 2050 compared to the scheduled reduction under the Kigali Amendment. This can be achieved through the rapid adoption of advanced technologies, better management of refrigerants, and stricter national compliance enforcement.
In summary, reducing power consumption in cooling systems will have a significant impact and it’s encouraging to see a number of strategies that can be used to amplify its reduction by up to 96% – let’s hope we start seeing action on these words sooner rather than later.
Stay tuned as Foreman Roberts brings you all of the latest information from COP28 as these declarations are announced.