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BW Businessworld

Climate Investment Is 'Cool'

Not only do cooling devices consumer a significant portion of electricity at homs, they also release harmful gases in the atmosphere

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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About one fourth or 25 per cent of the Indian population uses air conditioners. While this is not a majority, it still has a significant impact on the environment. Not only do cooling devices consume a significant portion of the electricity at home, they also releases harmful gases in the atmosphere. 

To overcome this issue, concrete steps will have to be taken. To achieve the 1.5 degree goal agreed at Paris in 2015 is something we will have to stick to, else we will experience more heat waves. This agenda is older than the recently concluded Cop 27, as we have seen in the agenda of climate change by cooling was mentioned in 6th report of IPCC mentioned it. 

The increase in temperature will have a cascading impact, for instance, 4.5 per cent of India’s GDP could be lost due to heat by loss of labour productivity. Given this situation, cooling demand will only rise. It is our interest that we take a sustainable approach to achieving the cooling targets. 

August Tamo Kouame, Country Director, World Bank, “Challenge here is to cool our systems witwhout adding green house gases. The government therefore has a role to ensure cooling happens.” India can export cooling materials if things materialise. This needs strong regulations. 

Abhas Jha, Practice Manager, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, South Asia World Bank adds,“As per Met office UK these heat waves will become 100 times more likely. Upto 34 million jobs will be lost due to productivity decline and heat.”

Not only jobs, labour productivity will go down as well. Additionally, four per cent of food waste across India due to happens due to inefficient cooling. However, all is not lost. “Good news is a large part of Indian infra is yet to be built. If we can make sure it is done in a carbon friendly way, you can lower emissions, ensure comfort, and meet government goals.” Adds Jha. 

By 2050 India's peak electricity demand will be only for space cooling. Government of India PM Awas Yojana. About 11 million houses are in urban areas, but thermal comfort is not addressed in that.  The agenda should be to efficiently use money for public expenditure. Also, by 2027, air conditioner demand from passenger vehicles in a Billion Dollars. To meet these energy demands World Bank recommends the concept of district cooling, that us, where a cluster is cooled by a single plant, which is 30 to 40 per cent more efficient. 

India is committed to Kigali agreement which expands on Montreal Protocol, and achieve these goals. The World Bank's suggestions must ne taken if we are to achieve the goals we have laid out for ourselves.


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