- Emissions from cooling can be reduced to near zero by 2050, according to the first ever Global Cooling Watch Report, launched at this year’s COP28
- Emissions in 2050 could be cut by 97% with readily available technology, which could save end-users up to $1 trillion per year by 2050
- Danfoss endorses and supports the implementation of a Global Cooling Pledge
Increasing temperatures, population growth, urbanization and rising incomes are driving the increased need for cooling. According to the first ever Global Cooling Watch Report, launched today at this year’s COP28, cooling demand could triple by 2050. This would lead to a doubling of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which is equivalent to more than the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of the United States of America today.
Recognizing the need to act on cooling, Danfoss joined forces with over 60 governments and other leading corporations to endorse a global pledge in support of sustainable cooling, launched at COP28 in Dubai. Led by the COP28 UAE Presidency, the Global Cooling Pledge sets out a series of commitments by governments that will accelerate emission reductions from energy use and refrigerants towards near zero emission cooling in 2050.
Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Climate Solutions, said: “Cooling is one of the biggest societal opportunities of our time. It’s needed everywhere to cool our food, our buildings, and our vaccines. It brings health, growth, and food security for the world’s population. The commitments made by governments through the Global Cooling Pledge are a brave step, but now we must see them take action, implement the technologies readily available today and spread sustainable, energy efficient and climate friendly cooling technologies around the globe. Action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”
Cooling our buildings is an important driver of cost and emissions. Already today, keeping buildings cool represents over 50% of electricity consumption from cooling and it is also the most important driver for peak electricity demand. Energy demand, just from cooling our homes, is expected to grow threefold by 2050, if no measures are taken1.
District cooling: keeping our cities cool without heating up the planet
District cooling is one of the most promising and efficient ways to cool and decarbonize buildings. It typically saves up to 50% of energy compared to conventional cooling systems1.
In most cases, chilled water is supplied from a central, electrically powered chiller and circulated to buildings through pipelines. Thermal storage opportunities in district cooling networks enable shifting cold-water production away from peak hours and adapting to variable renewable energies. Centralized plants help professionalize refrigerant management and support the move towards more climate friendly refrigerants. From an urban planning perspective, heat islands, noise and space requirements can be avoided.
Building a sustainable and safe cold chain for health and a better future
Similar trends are expected for cold chain and refrigeration applications as electricity use is set to grow significantly with the much-needed expansion of the cold chain to provide food, medicine and vaccines for a growing population.
The good news is that near zero emission cooling is possible. Emissions in 2050 could be cut by 97% with readily available technology: one third could already be achieved by compliance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the most important driver to reduce refrigerant emissions, and state-of-the art energy efficiency. The remainder could be reached by stepping up actions on energy efficiency and refrigerants, reducing the need for cooling and fully decarbonizing the grid.
End users could save $1 trillion per year by 2050 due to reduced electricity use. Reduced peak loads on electricity networks would translate to a reduction in peak electricity demand between 1.5 TW and 2 TW, resulting in $4 trillion to $5 trillion savings by 20501.
“Combining high energy efficiency in cooling with the transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants is a very powerful way to reduce emissions and cost. District cooling and the phase-out of refrigerants with a high impact on global warming are just two examples of many that can make a major difference. Technologies and solutions to reduce cooling-related emissions are already in use around the world, and I urge the leaders behind the Global Cooling Pledge to see them into action. Seeing is believing,” says Fischer.
Andrea Voigt, Head of Global Public Affairs, Danfoss Climate Solutions, concludes: “There’s ample evidence that policies aimed at phasing down high global warming potential refrigerants combined with measures to increase energy efficiency will lead to tangible results. Training is another crucial, yet often neglected success factor. At Danfoss we look forward to collaborating with our customers and governments to create sustainable ecosystems ranging from hardware and software solutions to training and adequate policies that will make the energy and refrigerant transition a success for all.”