Sustainable cooling in the Asia-Pacific region: tackling climate change and enhancing quality of life

This policy brief discusses the issues and practical interventions that United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) member States and countries in other parts of the world can consider to accelerate the transition to sustainable cooling. Cooling is a fundamental requirement to improve the well-being of the world’s population and ensure sustainable economic development. Cooling interconnects three predominant international commitments - Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cooling is cross-cutting in its nature. It is needed for a wide range of applications like space cooling of buildings, food cold chain, mobile-air conditioning, healthcare cold chain and process cooling. Every country should analyze and address its socio-economic and environmental issues related to access to cooling (especially for vulnerable groups of the population), refrigerant-related emissions and energy-use-related emissions. The pathway for mainstreaming “sustainable cooling” can be achieved through robust policy responses and the implementation of related actions. Sustainable cooling requires the development and implementation of national policies, targets and regulations, international collaborations, utilization of market enablers and appropriate financial mechanisms and capacity building for technicians and other relevant stakeholders.