Solutions exist to providing cooling solutions for all while keeping the planet cool:
- By turning concrete jungles into urban forests, we can keep our cities cooler using less power and mitigating the urban heat island effect. Urban parks can reduce ambient daytime temperature by an average of 1 °C Green roofs can cut energy use by 10 to 15%. Building design, with passive and nature-based features, offers great potential for mitigation and adaptation.
- District cooling – a network of pipes that provides cooling to multiple buildings – is 5-10 times more energy efficient than conventional cooling. District cooling lowers CO2 emissions and operating costs improves load balancing at peak hours and allows the integration of renewables.
- Off-grid cooling solutions like solar fridges can protect vaccines from power outages or maintain cold chains where grid electricity is not available.
- More efficient air conditioners cut CO2 emissions from space cooling in half which, combined with cleaner power sources, can radically reduce overall emissions and improve air quality.
- Development of residential cooling solutions that have less climate impact than today’s standard RAC units could prevent up to 100 gigatons (GT) of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2050.
- Potential solutions for rural poor include: off-grid solar home systems to support fans, refrigerators; Cold storage and pre-cooling for transportation and sale of goods; solar refrigeration and “last mile” transport for vaccines and public cooling centers and local heat action plans.
- Potential solutions for urban poor include: passive cooling through design and retrofit; cool roofs and walls; financing instruments that enable acquisition of energy efficient fans or refrigerators and public cooling centers and local heat action plans.