25 May 2022
Poor people have equal right to sustainable cooling

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Friday said poor people have an equal right to sustainable cooling and that closing the cooling access gap for vulnerable populations is essential for economic growth and development.


Addressing the National Dialogue on Sustainable Cooling organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) here, Yadav said cooling has become a developmental need linked with achieving sustainable development goals and the Narendra Modi government is committed to providing affordable cooling to the poor.

“If we cannot protect the workers who are building roads, highways, metro networks, and malls for us, how do we expect to attain development?

“Poor people have as much right to sustainable cooling as any of us… Closing the cooling access gap for vulnerable populations is essential for economic growth and development,” he said.

India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was among one the first countries to launch a national cooling action plan (India Cooling Action Plan) in March 2019. The plan gives a long-term vision to address the cooling requirement across sectors such residential and commercial building, transportation, cold chain and industries, the minister said.

He said India has provided the template for a sustainable agenda for a prosperous and climate-resilient future by supporting manufacturing and innovation in the cooling sector on one hand and committing to becoming net zero on the other.

Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out.

Yadav also released two Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) studies ‘Technology Gaps in India’s Air-Conditioning Supply Chain’ and ‘Making Sustainable Cooling in India Affordable’ at the Dialogue.

The CEEW studies highlighted that India needs to make available sustainable cooling options for its citizens as it aims to transition to a low-carbon and eventually a net-zero economy by 2070. Promoting local manufacturing of energy-efficient appliances for cooling and refrigeration would also be crucial.

Leena Nandan, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, said, “The India Cooling Action Plan was flagged off three years ago and significant work has already been initiated. However, much more needs to be done in terms of commitments to phasing down of hydrofluorocarbons.”

“If we align our goals under the Cooling Action Plan with the larger goals that we have as part of our COP 26 announcements, then the whole problem will be settled since we will have an integrated approach,” Nandan said.

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW said: “As India continues to experience a severe heatwave condition this summer, shift towards sustainable cooling is a national imperative now. After committing to net zero in 2070, we will now have to work backwards to achieve the target.

“Sustainable cooling could be one of the ‘sun rise’ sectors that could help us reduce emissions, create jobs and propel economic growth. To achieve this, our policymakers will have to nudge the private industry towards the sustainable pathway and thereby link jobs, growth and sustainability in the cooling sector.”

Source: The Economic Times

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