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Hello and welcome to the monthly newsletter from the Oxford Martin School Programme on the Future of Cooling.  The newsletter covers the latest cooling news and research updates; you can see previous editions here.   Please let me know if there is something you’d like see featured, or if you have other comments or suggestions!
Helen Gavin 
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Welcome to the Advisory Panel


The vision of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Cooling is to give the world cooling solutions which place planetary stewardship and protecting people’s needs at its heart.  These solutions will prepare the world for extreme heat events by prioritising passive or less energy-intensive technology.
 
Shaping the demand for cooling is potentially the most significant opportunity to moderate the energy trajectory. However, it isn’t clear where the greatest social, technical and economic innovations could be made. Similarly, the benefits of cooling for reducing heat-related illness have not yet been fully researched. These are the themes therefore being tackled by the Programme on the Future of Cooling.
 
Ensuring the work of the Programme realises its vision is the task of the newly appointed Advisory Board, which comprises the following members:
 Avory Lovins Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Institute
 Brian Motherway Head of the Energy Efficiency Division, International Energy Agency
 Damilola Ogunbiyi CEO, Sustainable Energy for All
 Dan Hamza-Goodacre Executive director, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program
 Iain Campbell Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute
 Paul Glasziou, Director of the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare, Bond University
 Tina BirmpilI Executive Secretary, United Nation Environment Programme Ozone Secretariat
 Sam Bickersteth CEO, Opportunity International (Chair)

The Advisory Board will meet for the first time in late May, and will be followed by a talk at the Oxford Martin School.  The talk will be open to all and most likely livestreamed – the date will be announced in a future newsletter!

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) represents the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe.
 
Noting that the demand for cooling is expected to grow significantly, triggered by increased urbanisation, data centres, and digitalisation, the EPEE has called on the European Commission to incorporate low carbon cooling in its Green Deal, which seeks to make the continent climate neutral by 2050.
 
The EPEE recognises that even now, heating and cooling represent half of the EU’s energy consumption. With the demand for cooling expected to grow significantly, and with no appropriate mitigation, there will be a corresponding increase in energy consumption and emissions.
 
Technologies are ready to address this challenge but have not yet been deployed on a broad scale.

Cognisant of the potential negative impact associated with cooling, the campaign issued a White Paper in November 2019. The paper, “Count on Cooling: A five-step approach to deliver sustainable cooling” examines the crucial role of cooling in the 21st century.

The paper outlines 5 steps, which if followed would optimise cooling demand, increase the energy efficiency of cooling systems, and enable a shift towards renewable energy sources by integrating the cooling sector into the power generation system.
 
Following this, the EPEE launched its broader “Count on Cooling” campaign, to remove the barriers standing in the way of sustainable cooling, namely:
  • Low political awareness of the potential for improved efficiency and the significant benefits of an integrated approach – and therefore a lack of clear financial drivers to promote it;
  • Limited end user awareness of the potential life cycle cost reductions arising from improved efficiency.
  • An existing siloed approach, which makes it hard for all the key stakeholders to work together, especially in the relationship between the power supply sector and the users of cooling; and 
  • Challenges to attract, retain and upskill professionals to meet the evolving needs of the industry. These professionals are vital to ensure proper sizing, installation and maintenance, deliver high efficiency designs, provide good monitoring of performance and address the complexities of large integrated systems.


Official launch
Why not join the EPEE at its event at the Bibliothèque Solvay  in Brussels, on 24 March?   This event marks the official launch of the campaign.


 

 
The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme’s third annual strategy meeting in Febraury 2020, brought together over 100 cooling experts from government, civil society and business.  In the meeting in Mexico City, participants discussed what more can be done to speed up and scale policy, finance and technology solutions to bring efficient, climate-friendly cooling to all. They strengthened collaboration and generated lots of ideas for future work in K-CEP’s Phase 2.
 
Topics under discussion among K-CEP partners included better data collection about product sales, harmonization of standards, enhancing regulatory compliance, and overcoming barriers to investment.
 
K-CEP has made Mexico a priority because its cooling demand is forecasted to drive over 25% of the country’s total increase in carbon emissions, the highest share projected for any country in the world.
At the event the refrigerator manufacturer Mabe, the leading home appliance brand in Latin America, announced the phasing out of HFCs from its refrigerator production plants by the end of 2020, and a 10-25% efficiency improvement of its products.  
 
Another K-CEP partner, MGM Innova, revealed its plans for an upcoming refrigerator replacement program in partnership with Mexico City.  Both of these actions will set the bar for other industry players.

 

 A Climate Crime of Epic Proportions!


Signatories to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, have pledged to ensure emissions of HFC-23 are reduced to zero by January 2020.  As a result, all major producing countries, including China, India, the USA and EU, have put in place national legislation and programmes to cut the emissions. 
 
This refrigerant is one of the world’s most damaging greenhouse gases, and 12,400 times more potent than carbon dioxide at heating the planet.  It is created mostly as an unwanted by-product of  HFC-22, a refrigerant gas used in fridges, freezers and air conditioning units.   Rather than ‘venting’ the gas i.e. releasing it into the atmosphere, manufacturers are supposed to burn it instead, a cost-effective approach.
A study in the journal Nature estimated that these programmes should have resulted in global emissions dropping by 87% between 2014 and 2017, however atmospheric observations show that emissions have actually increased and, in 2018, were highest ever recorded at that time.
 
The magnitude of the difference is such that either the programmes are not working or there are leaks to the atmosphere to  ~309 tonnes CO2-e.  This has been slammed by climate campaigners, such as Claire Perry calling it “...a climate crime of epic proportions”.  The amount that is likely being vented is claimed to be as much as have 50 coal-fired plants’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.
 
The study in Nature does not identify the origin of the emissions but it is thought to be China and India, as these are the countries that dominate global HFC-23 production, generating 75% of the chemical in 2017.
 
Yet both China and India have pledged to destroy HFC-23.  China received $385m from the Montreal Protocol to phase out production of HCFC-22 and the India government imposed a ban in 2016 to ensure all HFC-23 was incinerated. 
 
However, in the past, HCFC-22 producers were found to have deliberately maximised production of unwanted HFC-23, to generate additional ‘carbon credits’ for eventually destroying the dangerous gas, and then selling these credits for profit.  When this was discovered, the EU rejected HFC-23 carbon credits from its scheme, which had been set up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.
The award-winning Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in partnership with Ashden, have recognised seven initiatives that have successfully rolled out projects in energy with positive health outcomes.
 
The 2019 Awards focused on the nexus of energy and health, highlighting personalities and projects that have made significant progress in the areas of cooling for all; powering health care; clean fuels for all; and outdoor air quality.  The seven honourees included political leaders, city governments and businesses that are improving lives globally and locally in Ghana, India and Mexico, and in cities as diverse as New York, Medellín and Ahmedabad.
 
The winner of the 2019 Ashden Award for Cooling by Nature is the Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan.
 
With 6.4 million people, Ahmedabad in western India is the seventh-largest urban area in India. When over 1,300 people died in a deadly heatwave in May 2010 when temperatures exceeded 46 deg C, the municipal council decided to act and implement a heat action plan.  This was done in coordination with the Indian Institute of Public Health, the US-based Natural Resources Defence Council, and other groups and NGOs.  The plan started in 2013 making Ahmedabad the first city in South Asia to design and implement such a plan.
 
The plan's primary objective is to reach people most at risk of heat-related illness when extreme heat conditions occur.

Find out more by watching this quick video https://youtu.be/HvqH98imqd8
 
The plan includes mapping to identify areas with vulnerable people, and a public education campaign.  During heat waves a multi-media early warning system is used to let people know how to avoid harm.  The plan includes training of local health care providers to identify and treat victims of extreme heat, provision of water at bus depots, and ensuring hospitals are ready.  It also supports cool roofs systems - painting roofs white – a simple measure that can reduce indoor temperatures by 5-7 degrees C, and also reduce electricity bills.
 
The Ahmedabad Heat Plan has already saved thousands of lives.  It has also been an example to other locations, with over 30 Indian cities in 11 states now having adopted similar plans.

The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) Initiative is a voluntary collaboration between 19-member governments to address urgent global energy challenges and promote the manufacture, purchase, and use of energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and equipment worldwide.
 
Over 12 - 13 December 2019, together with the International Energy Agency and the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency, it held the “International Workshop On “Energy Efficient Cooling” in Delhi, India.  The event was held during India’s 'Energy Conservation Week', which spanned 9-14 December 2019.
 
With global temperatures increasing, cooling is essential to wellbeing, food and medicine preservation, industrial manufacturing, sustainable agriculture and economic growth. Yet the energy demand of space and cold chain cooling is expected to exceed current rates of energy efficiency gains. As such, there is a need for urgent action and innovation to develop and deploy new technologies, systems and business models to minimise the climate impacts of the need for cooling.
 
The workshop explored policies, technologies, innovation, new approaches and business models that can accelerate progress on energy efficient cooling across sectors and systems.  Attendees included international organisations, regulatory bodies, policymakers, government officials and public sector representatives from across the world.

The workshop sessions were as follows, for which the presentations can be downloaded:
 
1: Low energy cold chains and rural cooling perspectives and technologies
2: Space cooling perspectives, technologies and innovations
3: Towards energy efficient and sustainable cooling
4: Efficient cooling systems
5: New business models and finance
6: Steps to accelerate progress
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Thanks for reading!
Helen Gavin
Copyright © 2020 Future of Cooling, All rights reserved.


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