The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that at 1.5ºC of global warming, an estimated 2.3 billion people could be both exposed and vulnerable to heatwave events: a threshold that could be reached as early as 2030.
In contrast, many developing countries still lack access to cooling —from cold chains and refrigeration to ensure food safety, medicine, and vaccines to space cooling to ensure comfortable, healthy, and productive homes, institutions, and workplaces. The need to adapt and build resilience in a rapidly warming climate —together with growing populations, urbanization, and rising disposable income levels in developing countries —are driving the exponentially growing demand for cooling services in many developing countries. This in turn, is associated with a projected rapid increase in cooling-related energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with both the GHG-intensity of electricity grids and refrigerants in cooling equipment putting pressure on already strained energy systems hampering efforts to curb climate change.
By accelerating and increasing access to sustainable cooling solutions, there is an opportunity to simultaneously help meet multiple Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen adaptation to climate change, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and support the goals of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.