Curbs of Air Conditioning Could Save Years of Emissions, Study Finds | Ambient

According to one study, global greenhouse gas emissions of up to eight years could be avoided in the next four decades by setting stricter standards for air conditioning.

He found that improving the energy efficiency of cooling systems by using climate-friendly refrigerants could eliminate emissions equivalent to between 210 billion and 460 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2060.

Peer-reviewed analysis by the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that reducing the use of climate-warming refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) alone , could help prevent up to 0.4C from global warming at the end of the century

Doubling the energy efficiency of air conditioning by 2050 would reduce electricity use by 1,300 gigawatts, the equivalent of all coal-fired power generation capacity in China and India in 2018, saving up to $ 2.9 trillion in electricity costs.

More efficient air conditioning would also have other benefits, according to the report, such as better access to life-saving cooling equipment for drugs and vaccines, better air quality, and less food loss and waste.

According to the report, there are an estimated 3.6 billion cooling devices in use worldwide, and this could increase to 14 billion by 2050 if cooling is provided to all who need it, rather than just those who can afford it.

The growing demand for refrigeration is contributing significantly to climate change by producing HFCs and carbon dioxide and is often dependent on electricity generated by fossil fuels. That demand is expected to grow faster in the coming years in response to the constant rise in global temperatures, creating a vicious circle of global warming.

Carbon emissions from the global energy industry in 2018 rose at the fastest rate in nearly a decade, after extreme weather and surprising changes in global temperatures fueled the fastest increase in gas demand for 30 years.

The Unep / IEA report calls for action by governments to address the climate impacts of cooling as they implement stimulus packages to deal with the economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

Calls on all countries to adopt an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international environmental treaty agreed in 2016 that calls for a drastic reduction in HFCs and was agreed in 2016.

Inger Andersen, CEO of Unep, said that climate-friendly cooling could help protect the natural environment and even reduce the risk of future pandemics while preventing runaway carbon emissions.

Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said the Covid-19 pandemic offered governments “a unique opportunity to accelerate progress on efficient and climate-friendly cooling,” and said it was “one of the most effective tools that governments have to face energy and environmental objectives. “

He added: “By improving cooling efficiency, they can reduce the need for new power plants, reduce emissions, and save consumers money.”