At the United Nations climate summit in Dubai, 63 countries, including the United States, Canada, and Kenya, have pledged to significantly reduce cooling-related emissions. The Global Cooling Pledge focuses on tackling emissions from refrigeration for food and medicine, as well as air conditioning, marking the first collective effort to address these climate-warming emissions.
The commitment sets a target for countries to reduce their cooling-related emissions by at least 68% by 2050 compared to 2022 levels. It also includes goals such as establishing minimum energy performance standards by 2030. The aim is to reduce emissions while increasing access to sustainable cooling technologies. Currently, around 1.2 billion people lack access to cooling, and with rising temperatures, growing populations, and increased incomes, the demand for cooling is expected to triple by mid-century.
However, the surge in cooling equipment, particularly inefficient air conditioners, contributes to the climate crisis. Cooling emissions are projected to reach between 4.4 billion and 6.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050. The Global Cooling Pledge seeks to address this challenge and work towards more sustainable cooling solutions. The progress on meeting the pledge's targets will be monitored annually until 2030, with updates provided at U.N. climate summits.