The Cooling Facility, one of the world’s first initiatives to focus on cooling, will help countries develop low-carbon and inclusive cooling solutions
Greater and rapid access to cooling has become a development necessity. At 1.5oC of warming, experts warn that 2.3 billion people could be both exposed and vulnerable to heatwave events – a threshold that could be reached as early as 2030. At the same time, as demand for cooling rises, so do greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cooling systems. To promote low-carbon and inclusive cooling solutions, the World Bank mobilized USD$157 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The funding will go to nine countries for investments in climate-friendly cooling technologies, and the strengthening of enabling environments for clean cooling-related solutions.
The World Bank’s Cooling Facility, through which GCF funds will be channeled, is one of the world’s first multi-country financing initiatives to focus on cooling. It will seek to help countries develop the necessary market infrastructure, financing mechanisms, and policies and regulations to deploy clean cooling at scale. It will focus on space cooling (i.e., energy efficient buildings and appliances), as well as refrigeration and cold chains.
The Facility will help address barriers that have so far limited the deployment of clean cooling technologies. It will work with nine countries across different sectors, looking at different cooling solutions:
- In El Salvador, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia, the facility will support reliable and climate friendly vaccine cold chains as well as clean cooling in health facilities. Through these three interventions, the Cooling Facility will contribute to the Bank’s operational response to COVID-19 and the strengthening of these countries’ health systems.
- In Kenya and Malawi, the Cooling Facility will support clean and affordable cooling in rural communities and agricultural sectors.
- In North Macedonia, Panama, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the facility will support energy efficient buildings, providing thermal comfort with both passive measures and low carbon cooling solutions.
Financing mobilized for the facility from the GCF is expected to leverage an additional USD$722.8 million in World Bank co-financing. Over the next ten years, the Cooling Facility aims to reduce or avoid an estimated 9.13 million tons of CO2 emissions, in addition to supporting countries’ climate adaptation efforts. The Cooling Facility is also supportive of the goals and requirements of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, under which HFCs – powerful greenhouse gases often used as refrigerants – are being phased down.
The scale of the cooling challenge is unprecedented and has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed important cooling gaps. Globally, there are already more than 1.1 billion people lacking proper access to cooling – from cold chains and refrigeration to ensure the safety of foods, medicine, and vaccines, to space cooling to ensure comfortable, healthy, and productive homes, institutions, and workplaces. At the same time, the global cooling equipment stock, amounting to about 3.6 billion cooling appliances, is already consuming about 17% of the world’s demand for electricity, and projected to grow exponentially in the coming decades, especially in developing countries.
About the Cooling Facility
The Cooling Facility aims to accelerate the deployment of affordable, efficient, and sustainable cooling investments and in doing so to both mitigate the climate impacts of the projected increased cooling demand and improve climate change resilience. To achieve this goal, the Facility will channel concessional climate finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the World Bank for cooling projects and operations. The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has provided critical support in the development of the Cooling Facility and will continue to support the preparation of the operations financed by the Cooling Facility.
More information on the Cooling Facility’s funding proposal is available on the GCF website