Pathway to Zero GHG emissions for Cooling

Context: Climate-friendly cooling could cut 8 years worth of global emissions by 2050. But, to achieve this, we need to act fast. Through transformational action on climate-friendly cooling, we get to zero faster and cheaper. A Climate Action Pathway for Net Zero Cooling is needed to map a vision to achieve net zero cooling by mid-century. The pathway lays out, for the first time, a vision for action and key milestones necessary to fully implement the Paris Agreement, exceed the Kigali Amendment and contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Objective: Develop key documents and tools to support the achievement of net-zero cooling for all by 2050 through a focus on three impact areas:

• Passive cooling: Widespread adoption of measures that avoid or reduce the need for mechanical cooling including reducing cooling loads, smart and human centric design and urban planning

• Super-efficient equipment and appliances: A ‘race to the top’ S-curve transformation where the norm is super-efficient cooling equipment and appliances powered by zero carbon energy

• Ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and insulation foam gases: Market domination of ultra-low (<5 GWP) refrigerants across all cooling sectors and applications

The net-zero cooling transition will account for different climatic conditions in geographical regions and the different refrigerant needs of sectors. It will also account for the ‘life and death’ nature of the need for cooling, especially as the planet warms and the most vulnerable people require cooling for protection. Whilst it will be possible to significantly reduce energy use for cooling through passive measures and super-efficient equipment, it will remain essential to decarbonise the global residual energy supply and improve system flexibility.


– Co-lead: David Aitken, Associate Director, Carbon Trust,

– Co-lead: Dan Hamzah-Goodacre, Non-Executive Director, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and Cooling Lead, COP26 Champions Team,