New UN initiative promotes universal access to cooling
‘Cooling for All’ aims to organize government, academia, civil society, and business leaders to facilitate energy-efficient, low-GWP cooling solutions for poorest countries.
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), a global initiative sponsored by the United Nations and the World Bank, last week announced a new initiative – Cooling for All – to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with providing access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions.
The new initiative will focus on “how we embed growing cooling demands that can reach everyone within a clean energy transition, and in turn, support faster progress to achieve the goals of the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment agreed to last year in Rwanda,” the announcement said.
With populations rising, growing cooling needs risk creating a significant increase in energy demand, that if not managed through super-efficient technologies or clean sources, will cause further climate change impacts and a rise in emissions, the group said.
The initiative will aim to create “a direct intersect” between three internationally agreed upon goals: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, which will limit consumption and production of high-GWP HFC refrigerants.
An important part of the initiative will be its Cooling for All Global Panel, which will bring together a group of high-level leaders from government, academia, civil society, business and finance leaders.
The panel will be co-chaired by two governments that are dealing with issues of cooling access in their countries. The co-chairs will lead the group’s work in developing a comprehensive report that offers solutions for accelerating the uptake of cooling solutions to create sustainable cooling access for all, including the poorest countries.
“As the world grows dangerously warm, access to cooling will become the difference between life and death in some parts of the world that suffer from extreme heat,” said Rachel Kyte, chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All, and special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, who will act as secretariat for the Global Panel. “A clean energy transition is already underway globally that can provide affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. We must now incorporate cooling for all needs within this transition, while keeping us on track to reach our global climate and energy goals.”
The initiative will convene its first panel meeting this September in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC, where co-chairs and panel members will be announced. The panel’s report will be launched in 2018.