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When the world warms up, switching to energy-efficient cooling techniques will scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions

Dirk Waem | AFP | Getty Images

According to a new report from the United States' environmental program and the International Energy Agency, switching to energy-efficient cooling systems is an important way to contain greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change.

A switch to energy-efficient air conditioning systems could, according to the report entitled "Cooling Emissions and." Save up to 460 billion tons of global greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades – or about eight years of emissions based on the level of 2018 policy synthesis. "

Doubling the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems worldwide could also save $ 2.9 trillion by 2050 simply by reducing the cost of power generation and distribution, the report said. The IEA said additional spending of $ 1 trillion could increase gross domestic product by 3.5%, cut global carbon emissions, and create millions of jobs over the next three years.

On the current warming path, it is almost certain that 2020 will be one of the hottest years in history. 2019 was the second hottest year ever and topped the hottest decade in the world in history. Six of the warmest years in existence have also been in the past decade.

The number of air conditioning systems worldwide is expected to quadruple from 3.6 to 14 billion by the middle of the century. As a result, the Earth needs to use five times more energy to cool than it does today. Electricity for cooling alone would account for more than 80% of the IEA's forecast capacity for renewable energies by 2050.

"When governments introduce massive stimulus packages to deal with the economic and social impact of the Covid 19 crisis, they have a unique opportunity to accelerate progress in efficient and climate-friendly cooling," said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA.

People play in the hydrant's spray. At the 3rd and Spruce Recreation Center in Reading Wednesday afternoon June 24, 2020 for the first Wacky Water Wednesday.

Ben Hasty | Read Eagle | Getty Images

"Higher efficiency standards are one of the most effective tools that governments can use to achieve energy and environmental goals," said Birol. "By improving cooling efficiency, they can reduce the need for new power plants, cut emissions and save money for consumers."

A disproportionate number of low-income or minority people currently do not have air conditioning in their homes, and many lower-income people who have units at home can only afford less energy-efficient systems that are poorer for the environment.

The problem is now exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic as public cooling centers are more difficult to reach due to social distance restrictions – and dangerous because the virus can spread through the air.

As countries invest in corona virus restoration and stimulus packages, the report recommends that the United States and the IEA recommend that governments implement plans to transition to efficient cooling to mitigate climate change impacts, improve air quality, and Reduce food waste and waste.

One way in which countries can switch to climate-friendly refrigerants is universal ratification of the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement signed in 2016 to gradually reduce the consumption and production of climate-warming refrigerant gases, known as fluorocarbons.

The report also recommended that countries develop and implement minimum efficiency and labeling standards to improve equipment and promote building codes that reduce the need for refrigerant and mechanical cooling.

"When nations invest in the recovery from Covid-19, they have the opportunity to use their resources wisely to reduce climate change, protect nature and reduce the risk of further pandemics," said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

"Efficient, climate-friendly cooling can help achieve all of these goals," said Andersen.

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