We need cooling to keep our children healthy, vaccines stable, food nutritious, energy supply stable, economies productive, and environment clean. In warming world, access to cooling is not a luxury. One billion people face immediate risks from lack of access to cooling, the vast majority in Asia and Africa.
Around 30 per cent of the world’s population is currently exposed to life-threatening temperatures for at least 20 days a year and heat waves already lead to 12,000 deaths annually across the world. These numbers will increase as the planet warms. Lack of cooling kills, but so does providing inefficient, polluting cooling. If left unchecked, emissions from cooling are expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2100, driven by heat waves, population growth, urbanization, and a growing middle class. Cooling will be one of the top drivers of global electricity demand over the next three decades. By 2050, space cooling alone will consume as much electricity as China and India today. This doesn’t even include the demand for cold chain. But solutions exist to providing cooling solutions for all while keeping the planet cool.
Often the greatest opportunity lies in the greatest challenge. A united effort is needed if we are to cut global warming, improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and realize huge financial savings.
Global collaboration by a wide range of actors in the form of a ‘Cool Coalition’ can do much to achieve these goals.