The Clean Cooling Collaborative is a philanthropic initiative of ClimateWorks Foundation that is working to create a future with efficient, climate-friendly cooling for all.
The cooling sector requires transformative change to sustainably provide people with access to the cooling they need in a rapidly warming world. This must be achieved in a way that cost-effectively minimizes energy use and its associated greenhouse gas emissions as well as highly polluting refrigerants. If we get cooling right, we could avoid 100 gigatons of CO2e over the coming decadesSolving the Global Cooling Challenge: How to Counter the Climate Threat from Room Air Conditioners (2018), RMI. That’s equivalent to two years of today’s global greenhouse gas emissions.
The cooling challenge
As global temperatures rise, demand for cooling — primarily air conditioning and refrigeration — is expected to triple by 2050Air conditioning use emerges as one of the key drivers of global electricity-demand growth (2018), IEA. Unfortunately, today’s cooling technologies consume massive amounts of energy and release super-polluting greenhouse gases, damaging our climate.
At present, cooling produces more than 7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissionsOptimization, monitoring, and maintenance of cooling technology (2018), K-CEP, and without clean cooling technologies and a full renewable energy transition, these emissions could double by 2050The Future of Cooling (2018), IEA.
Cooling isn’t just a climate issue, it’s also a development issue. Extreme heat and a lack of access to cooling threatens the health and safety of people around the world, as well as the quality and safety of food and critical medicines that rely on cooling.
Solutions to cool a warming world
To meet the growing demand for cooling, we must scale up energy-efficient, climate-friendly solutions that support health and well-being, without all of the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to avoiding significant greenhouse gas emissions, improving how we cool will support the clean energy transition, save trillion of dollars in utility bills, boost food security, and enhance the quality of life for people everywhere.
To achieve these goals, we will work to:
- Avoid and reduce the need for mechanical cooling through improved building design and urban planning.
- Optimize and improve mechanical cooling technologies and how they’re used to be more energy efficient, climate friendly, and grid friendly; and
- Increase access to efficient, climate-friendly cooling for low-income and at-risk communities.
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