Several countries attending the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France from August 24-26, pledged to take immediate steps to improve energy efficiency in the cooling sector while phasing down HFCs. (These countries have not been made public yet.)

The aim is to maximize the climate benefits of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and realize energy savings. A 30% improvement in the energy efficiency of room air conditioners could save enough energy to avoid building up to 2,500 500MW peak power plants by 2050. Read the full Biarritz Pledge.

With the Biarritz Pledge, countries agree to undertake ambitious measures to facilitate market access for highly efficient and affordable cooling technologies with low-or-zero global warming potential, such as natural refrigerants. 

Emissions from cooling are growing rapidly as incomes in developing countries rise, temperatures increase, and global cooling demand soars. Energy use from refrigeration and cooling is expected to rise by 90% from 2017 levels by 2050, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a third of all current emissions, according to a report by the University of Birmingham. Climbing emissions from increasing energy production will impact air quality and add to the climate crisis.

As such France, in the context of the G7 Presidency, has given very high visibility to the need for energy efficiency improvements in the cooling sector, first, through the Efficient Cooling Initiative and now with the Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling that was initiated at the G7 Summit.

“In a warming world cooling is not a luxury,” said Helena Molin Valdés, head of the UN Environment hosted Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat. “We need clean and efficient cooling for safe food, safe vaccines and to protect millions of people from heat stress. Increased efficiency puts us on a pathway to cleaner air and a safer climate. We look forward to working with all countries through our Efficient Cooling Initiative to ensure the necessary steps are taken to transform the cooling sector.”

The next step is to further expand the support to this pledge and to present it at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd. The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

“In a warming world cooling is not a luxury.”

Helena Molin Valdés, head of Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat 

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMO Connect network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.