Cooling is one of the wonders of the modern age. However, for hundreds of millions of people living in the hottest climates, the impact of not having access to modern cooling services is profound. Every year, millions of people die due to the absence of cooling that could help address hunger and malnutrition, preserve the efficacy of vaccines, and alleviate the worst of deadly heat waves. Cooling access can also help increase farmer incomes and lift people out of poverty by increasing the sales value of their produce when it meets the market.
Chilling Prospects: Providing Cooling for All shows there are over 1.1 billion people globally who face immediate risks from lack of access to cooling. Cooling underpins the ability of millions to escape poverty, to keep our children healthy, vaccines stable, food nutritious, and our economies productive. Access to cooling is now a fundamental issue of equity, and as temperatures hit record levels, this could also mean the difference between life or death for some.
These risks are both a development and climate change issue, as they pose challenges for the health, safety, and productivity of populations across the world – especially countries in Asia and Africa where access gaps are the largest. Yet this challenge also offers business and entrepreneurs the opportunity of major new consumer markets which want super-efficient, affordable technologies to meet their cooling needs.
Chilling Prospects also draws attention to the direct intersection between three internationally agreed goals: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment. One of the key goals of the Kigali Amendment is to limit consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.
The report was written by Sustainable Energy for All, produced in partnership and supported by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), as part of the Cooling for All initiative, which developed the report along with contributions from the Global Panel on Access to Cooling.
Full UN Report available here.