This event was part of a webinar series, hosted by Denmark and Ethiopia, showcasing the energy transition initiatives launched last year at the UN Climate Action Summit. The webinar series presents results achieved by the initiatives and describes how they can support national efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, while contributing to the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The world has changed radically in the year since the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, when the Cool Coalition was launched. Today, we are facing an unprecedented global health crisis and the worst economic downturn in decades. While the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to unravel important achievements on both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, the recovery from the pandemic also carries the opportunity of a transformation of global energy systems that can accelerate climate action and development.
The energy transition can play a key role in securing the achievement of a global green recovery, and cooling is an essential part of it. According to the latest science, coordinated international action on energy-efficient, climate-friendly cooling could avoid as much as 460 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – roughly equal to eight years of global emissions at 2018 levels – over the next four decades. On the other hand, cooling underpins the ability of societies to function effectively, keeping food, medicines, and vaccines at the right temperature, while enhancing productivity and comfort at home, school, and work during high temperatures. Cooling has also come to the fore as one of the essential services facilitating people’s wellbeing during both lockdowns, as well as once a vaccine will become available.
As countries chart a way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, cooling can deliver short-term emergency needs, and support long-term economic recovery, while contributing to sustainable development and building greater resilience to future shocks. Today’s high-level event gave the opportunity to leaders from the countries, international organizations, companies, and financial institutions to highlight what they are doing to ensure a transition to efficient and climate-friendly cooling and to provide their point of view on what is needed to speed up action in this important area of work.