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World Bank pledges to step up ‘Clean Cooling’ support

US$3m programme will focus on improving viability of more holistic approaches to sustainable cooling that will include looking at both technological and government policy barriers

A new World Bank technical support programme is seeking to accelerate development of more sustainable cooling solutions in developing countries, as well as tackling policy and finance barriers.

The focus, which has been launched during a two-day ‘Clean Cooling’ congress in London that started yesterday (April 24), aims to ensure that the bank’s investment projects look at supporting a more holistic approach to efficient cooling.

Alongside an anticipated surge in cooling demand around the world, particular concern has been raised about the potential environmental impacts of refrigeration and air conditioning needs in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Indonesia. The World Bank added that predictions of a fivefold increase in cooling technologies in many of these countries up to 2050 will put further pressure on already strained energy systems.

The Clean Cooling Programme launched by the bank has been supported by a US$3m grant from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) to focus on where market infrastructure and financial support may be insufficient to introduce lower carbon cooling systems.

An additional focus on new policies and regulations to support wider scale adoption of sustainable cooling through air conditioning, refrigeration and the cold chain will also be focused on, according to the World Bank.

Collaboration between public and private sector organisations will be part of the programme’s focus to look at both mechanical and non-mechanical solutions that can mitigate the impacts of higher temperatures through both design and technological approaches.

Rohit Khanna, manager of the World Bank’s energy sector management assistance programme, said that the concept of sustainable cooling was a fundamental part of efforts to transition to a lower carbon economy and infrastructure.

He said, “Meeting the growing demand for cooling services without compromising climate change goals will require substantial investments in energy efficient cooling solutions that are affordable and accessible to developing countries.”

“This is exactly what the new program is set to do and as such, it will underpin the World Bank’s longer-term strategy on sustainable cooling.”

The programme is intended to build on the World Bank’s expertise in transport, energy, agriculture and urban development projects to look at new cooling approaches that can potentially be financed and then scaled-up.

Dan Hamza-Goodacre, executive director of K-CEP, said the key focus for funding would be on ensuring longer-term viability in cooling projects.

He said, “Efficient, clean cooling can contribute significantly to a stable climate and cut energy costs at the same time. However, financing is needed to cover the capital costs of cooling technology, especially in developing countries.”

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