A close-up of air conditioner blades

COP 28: Global Cooling Pledge Launched as 63 Countries Commit to Cut Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

The Global Cooling Pledge was launched today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, bringing a much needed focus on the climate impacts of the cooling sector. Sustainable cooling is a key tool for both climate mitigation (reducing emissions from energy use and refrigerant greenhouse gases) and climate adaptation (increasing access to cooling in a warming world).

Recognizing that action on sustainable cooling can avoid 78 billion tonnes CO2e by 2050, 63 countries have joined the Global Climate Pledge, which commits to reduce cooling-related emissions across all sectors by at least 68% from 2022 levels by 2050.

“This Pledge is a recognition of the significance of the cooling sector’s contribution to climate change and the unquestionable need to phase out HFCs, especially as we look to enhance cooling access in a warming world,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA US Climate Campaign Director. “The good news is that already established institutions, mechanisms and experience of the Montreal Protocol can be leveraged to accelerate the mitigation of emissions. Given it has been seven years since the Kigali Amendment, countries and companies now must go beyond words, and ensure truly sustainable cooling.”

The Pledge also has specific measures to address refrigerants with high global warming potential, including ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol by 2024 and supporting earlier action to reduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions through the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund.

Signatories also pledge to collectively increase global average efficiency of new air conditioning equipment by 50% by 2030.

Clare Perry, EIA UK Climate Campaign Leader said, “Sustainable cooling is fundamental to climate mitigation, adaptation and our sustainable development goals. Coordinated and ambitious action at the global level to achieve sustainable cooling is long overdue and the Global Cooling Pledge is very welcome – but we expect a robust and transparent governance structure to ensure accountability and early implementation and we expect the pledge to be strengthened over time. Otherwise, it is just empty promises.”

Cooling issues will have a prominent place at the climate conference, which continues through December 12. EIA is hosting three cooling-related side events at the COP 28.