EghtesadOnline: As the world heats up, converting to energy-efficient cooling systems is a major way to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency.
A shift to energy-efficient air conditioning appliances could cut as much as 460 billion metric tons of global greenhouse gas emissions — or about eight years of emissions based on 2018 levels — in the next four decades, according to the report titled “Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis,” CNBC reported.
Doubling the energy efficiency of air conditioners worldwide could also save $2.9 trillion by 2050, just from reducing electricity generation and distribution costs, the report said. The IEA said an additional $1 trillion in spending over the next three years could increase gross domestic product by 3.5%, decrease global carbon emissions and create millions of jobs.
On the current warming trajectory, it’s virtually certain that 2020 will be among the hottest years in recorded history as 2019 was the second-hottest year ever, capping off the world’s hottest decade in recorded history. Six of the warmest years on record were also in the past decade.
The number of air conditioning units worldwide is expected to quadruple by mid-century, from 3.6 billion to 14 billion. As a result, the Earth will need to use five times more energy for cooling than it does today.
Electricity for cooling alone would account for more than 80% of the IEA’s forecast capacity for renewables by 2050.