India Cooling Action Plan

NASA observed in its report, that Earth’s long term warming trend has continued with 2018 declared to be the warmest year in recorded history. This comes in the backdrop of forewarning by scientists who state that Earth has already undergone an increase of 1 degree Celsius compared to 1950 levels. This shows that though the Montreal Protocol has been widely successful in phasing out Ozone depleting substances, it has not been able to arrest the trend of global warming.

It is in this light, India Cooling Action Plan was launched on the eve of World Ozone Day. The ICAP provides recommendations to address cooling requirements across sectors, and provides access to sustainable cooling for a 20 year period (2017-18 to 2037-38). The emphasis on cooling sector is due to its cross-sectoral nature with various sectors of economy such as residential and commercial buildings, transport, refrigeration etc. The overarching goal of the action plan is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.

Goals to be achieved

  • Supporting development of technological solutions in cooling and related areas
  • Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by year 2037-38
  • Reduction of refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year 2037-38
  • Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by year 2037-38
  • Training and certification of 1 lakh servicing sector technicians by the year 2022-23.

Significance of ICAP

  • Places India in forefront of fight against climate change as India is the first country in world to develop a cooling action plan (ICAP)
  • Helps realize the pledge made in Paris agreement (reduction of emission intensity)
  • Highlights the potential of a new sector which could address the issue of jobless growth in India
  • Encourages innovation and start up culture in this new sector
  • Widen the ambit of Montreal Protocol and increase international collaborations
  • Cooling is intimately associated with human health, well-being and productivity and is the need of the hour to ensure thermal comfort for all considering the tropical climate of India.
  • Ensures shift to energy efficient technology with low Global Warming Potential and efficient architectural models

Way Forward

  • Recognize “cooling areas” as a thrust area of research under national science and technology programs
  • Enhancing consumer awareness through eco-labelling of cooling products
  • Futuristic assessment of cooling requirements needed across sectors and the associated refrigerant demand and energy use
  • Map technologies already available in market to cater to the cooling requirements
  • Ensure active and passive interventions in each sector to ensure sustainable cooling
  • Focus on skilling RAC service technicians
  • Develop R&D innovation ecosystem for indigenous development of alternative technologies.
  • Reduce cooling load of building sector through faster implementation of building energy codes.