A communiqué adopted by G7 Environment Ministers in Metz, France on 5 May, 2019.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition's new...
At the G7 Environment Ministers Meeting in Metz, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) launched a new global initiative on energy efficient cooling to respond to the challenge of keeping the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. The multi-stakeholder initiative is led by France, Japan, Rwanda and Nigeria, as well as UN Environment Programme, UN Development Programme, the World Bank, and the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. Canada, the European Union, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Chile, Fiji, Gabon, Mexico, Niger, and Norway have expressed their support. The aim is to build high level leadership and to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders, through a series of roundtable discussions, promotional activities and information exchange opportunities, and to foster enhanced energy efficiency in the cooling sector while countries implement the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment.
"France welcomes the enthusiastic support received for Efficient Cooling Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition by key G7 members and outreach countries present at the G7 Environment Ministerial” said François de Rugy, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition of France. “Energy efficiency of the cooling sector is a crucial path for the future we want, and France is looking forward to working with the wide range of partners involved in the CCAC to deliver fast mitigation actions as a response to the climate emergency."
Environment Minister Toshiaki Harada of Japan introduced the new initiative at the meeting. “The IPCC 1.5°C Special Report tells us that we must begin rapidly reducing all emissions to achieve the Paris Agreement target. It emphasizes the measures to reduce emission of both CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants like methane, black carbon and HFCs. The Efficient Cooling Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a key contribution to address the 1.5°C challenge, by enhancing the energy efficiency of cooling equipment while phasing down HFCs. Japan will collaborate with G7 countries and key partners through this initiative, and aim to achieve emission reduction of HFCs,” said Minister Harada.
In addition to implementing the control of ozone-depleting substances and HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, Japan has set a global warming potential (GWP) target for refrigerants in products and machineries and provides financial support for users that choose energy-saving equipment. Japan has also supported developing countries to enhance energy efficiency and HFC emissions reduction through the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) and other institutions.
In the face of accelerating threats from a warming climate, including threats to the many species facing extinction, the speed of climate solutions is a key concern. “With climate change, winning slowly is the same as losing,” said Helena Molin Valdes, the head of the CCAC Secretariat, when presenting the CCAC initiative to the G7 environment ministers. She added, “Speed should be our new metric to win the race towards net zero and 1.5°C. We need sprinters and marathoners, and sprinters include the short-lived climate pollutants, which are the focus of the CCAC. Cooling, a blind spot of efficiency, is in reality a low hanging fruit we need to grab as fast as possible.”
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the energy demand for cooling is the fastest growing end-use in buildings, with potentially up to 10 air-conditioners sold every second over the next 30 years. A 30% improvement in energy efficiency of room air conditioners alone can save enough energy to avoid building up to 1,587 medium-size peak power plants (usually associated with significant black carbon and CO2 emissions) by 2030, according the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Climate-friendly and efficient cooling is also key for public health in a warming world, linking to the sustainable development goals. Around 30 per cent of the world’s population is currently exposed to life-threatening temperatures for at least 20 days a year and heat waves already lead to 12,000 deaths annually across the world. Clean and efficient space cooling and design of green buildings, refrigeration in the food chain and for vaccines, and avoided dirty power plant emissions through improved energy efficiency are but a few examples.
Under the initial phasedown schedule of the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which entered into force in January of this year, the phasedown of ‘super pollutants’ and high- GWP HFCs has the potential to avoid up to 0.1˚C of warming by 2050 and up to 0.4℃ by 2100, and even more with a faster phasedown. By improving energy efficiency in the cooling sector while simultaneously phasing down HFCs, the world can potentially double the climate benefits of the HFC phasedown alone. Improving air conditioning performance by more than 50% by 2030 could cut CO2 emissions from space cooling in half while reducing local air pollution from power generation that emits black carbon along with CO2, especially during the peak power periods when air conditioning is used.
The Coalition will be working with a wide range of partners and actors, which include governments, civil society and the industry, collaborating closely with the Montreal Protocol, climate change and energy stakeholders to complement ongoing efforts. The initiative will engage with multilateral development banks, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and the UN Environment-led effort it is funding to develop a united communication platform for cooling – a ‘cool coalition’ – along with other funding mechanisms and the private sector to increase awareness at the highest levels to promote specific commitments.
Energy efficiency in cooling lacks the serious attention that it deserves. We can save $2.9 trillion in operating costs and double our climate benefits by phasing down HFCs and increasing energy efficiency. We are a coalition that can act fast and Rwanda stands ready to support the CCAC’s efforts in this regard.Hon. Vincent Biruta
The Coalition is not a newcomer in the field of cooling and refrigeration, as it had championed for an HFC phasedown amendment under the Montreal Protocol since the Coalition’s founding in 2012.
“One of the greatest achievements of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to date has been our efforts to support the Kigali Amendment. Through the Coalition and its HFC Initiative led by Canada and the United States, Partners played a key role in bringing HFCs to the attention of world leaders and ministers”, commented Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. “The CCAC demonstrated through our on-the-ground activities that indeed, the world can quickly transition from high-GWP HFCs to climate friendly alternatives, while simultaneously improving energy efficiency of cooling equipment,” he added.
In 2017, the Coalition received Ozone Award for Political leadership in recognition of its efforts to push for the adoption and ratification of the Kigali Amendment. Given its experience in building high-level support, convening and facilitating action among public and private stakeholders, and disseminating information among a wide range of stakeholders, the Coalition is in a strategic position to champion this cause and lead the initiative.
At the last CCAC High-Level Assembly on the margins of COP-24 in Katowice, Poland, several ministers and high-level delegates called on the Coalition to take action on addressing energy efficiency in the cooling sector as a next step after its success on pushing for the Kigali Amendment.
“Energy efficiency in cooling lacks the serious attention that it deserves. We can save $2.9 trillion in operating costs and double our climate benefits by phasing down HFCs and increasing energy efficiency.” Minister Vincent Biruta said at the CCAC High Level Assembly in Katowice in December 2018. “We are a coalition that can act fast and Rwanda stands ready to support the CCAC’s efforts in this regard.”
Our Expert Assistance is a no-cost service that connects you to an extensive network of professionals for consultation and advice on a range of short-lived climate pollution issues and policies.
Experts will provide guidance on technological options, mitigation measures (like those carried out by our initiatives), funding opportunities, application of measurement tools, and policy development.