Climate change: 4.8 bn cooling equipments to be sold in 11 yrs, says study

The Chicago skyline as seen from the North Avenue Beach at Lake Michigan, as the polar vortex has descended on much of the central and eastern United States. Photo: Reuters

As many as 4.8 billion new units of cooling equipment will be sold globally between 2019 and 2030 and if this demand is not met sustainably, it may lead to a climate catastrophe, says a report.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report commissioned by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency programme (K-CEP) in an absolute sense the demand will be driven by China.

However, the relative pace of growth will be faster elsewhere such as India and Indonesia, it noted.

The market for cooling refrigeration and air conditioning is already substantial and is on a rapid growth trend owing to climate change, urbanisation and income growth.

Domestic and residential cooling accounts for more than 60 per cent of overall demand placing the onus on real estate developers and households. However, demand is growing more quickly among commercial and industrial cooling users from hotels to data centre operators.

The report noted that cooling devices are a substantial and growing contributor to climate change as they contribute to emissions both directly and indirectly.

"The market for cooling products and services is booming and is projected to grow hugely. This is important to meet human needs; however, if we fail to sustainably transform the cooling market we will fail to avoid a climate catastrophe," K-CEP Executive Director Dan Hamza-Goodacre said.

The EIU's report also highlighted immediate steps to be taken to avoid the need for cooling like shifting to cooling with lower emissions, improving cooling efficiency and protecting those most vulnerable to a lack of cooling.

"Leading companies are seizing this business opportunity with clever design and smarter energy use offsetting growing energy demand. But we need to scale up and fast. The first signatories to our EP100 Cooling Challenge include key Indian manufacturers and a major hotel chain, as well as a Middle Eastern retail giant every major company should follow suit," The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson said.

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