A new “holistic sustainability” strategy for Clean Cooling Collaborative

Clean Cooling Collaborative (formerly known as the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program K-CEP), is an initiative of the ClimateWorks Foundation focused on transforming the cooling sector and making efficient, climate-friendly cooling accessible to all.

The organization now sets new goals in an effort to offer more holistic solutions to improve access to sustainable cooling worldwide, with the goal of improving passive and mechanical approaches.

It has unveiled a new four-year strategy for decarbonizing the sector that will combine work on several fronts:

  • Use better building design and urban planning practices to passively cool buildings and cities, reducing the need for energy-intensive mechanical cooling technologies such as air conditioners;
  • Improve cooling technologies and their use, so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and refrigerant leakage from appliances. This will help create a range of benefits for society, including a faster and cheaper transition to a resilient and clean power grid, fewer power outages and lower bills for people and businesses, and improved air quality and public health;
  • Increase access to efficient, climate-friendly cooling for at-risk populations to improve people’s comfort and well-being. This will ensure greater resilience to extreme heat and reduce heat-related illnesses and deaths.

To rapidly transform the cooling industry, the organization will focus on:

  • Bringing innovative technologies to commercialization (e.g., air conditioners with five times less climate impact than conventional units);
  • Removing inefficient cooling technologies from the market and preventing developing countries from becoming the dumping ground for appliances that cannot be legally sold elsewhere;
  • Accelerate the global reduction of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants;
  • Increase the deployment of innovative demand-side management solutions that help companies manage heat pumps that can provide efficient heating and cooling without the direct use of fossil fuels;
  • Maximize the use of passive cooling techniques in the built environment;
  • Leverage funding to increase access to efficient, climate-friendly cooling solutions;
  • Expanding access to efficient and climate-friendly cold chain infrastructure.

In all of these strands of work, the Organization will also focus on equity to ensure that no one is left behind on the path to a future where clean cooling solutions are accessible to all. Other cross-cutting themes include financial mobilization, strategic communications, and industry engagement, which will focus on both companies that manufacture cooling equipment and those that purchase them on a large scale.

Geographically, while remaining a global program, Clean Cooling Collaborative will focus on the four regions projected to contribute 75 percent of cooling-related emissions between now and 2050: China, India, Southeast Asia (particularly Indonesia), and the United States.

The current one is recognized as the decade of action, and almost every day we are reminded of the urgent need to accelerate efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and protect populations from the impacts of the climate crisis. By accelerating the global adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling solutions, both goals can be achieved.