World Bank to back sustainable cooling solutions


The World Bank has announced a new programme to accelerate the uptake of sustainable cooling solutions, including air conditioning, refrigeration and cold chain in developing countries.

The programme will provide technical assistance to ensure that efficient cooling is included in new World Bank Group investment projects and mobilise further financing.

With demand for cooling increasing globally, energy use for cooling is projected to triple by 2050. Today, it is estimated that more than 1 billion people lack access to sustainable cooling solutions with the potential to impact health, food security, productivity and growth. The lack of cold storage and refrigerated transport contributes to 1.5 million vaccine-preventable deaths and the waste of about a third of the total food produced annually.

“Sustainable cooling is a fundamental part of the energy transition. 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 programme is set to do and as such, it will underpin the World Bank’s longer-term strategy on sustainable cooling,” said Rohit Khanna, manager of the energy sector management assistance program (ESMAP) at the World Bank.

Led by ESMAP and the World Bank’s Climate Change Group, the new Efficient, Clean Cooling Program is being established thanks to a $3m grant from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP).

“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. That is why K-CEP is excited to partner with the World Bank to mobilise the investments required to make cooling for all a reality,” said Dan Hamza-Goodacre, K-CEP executive director.

The programme intends to help countries develop the necessary market infrastructure, financing mechanisms, and policies and regulations to deploy sustainable cooling at scale, focusing on air conditioning, refrigeration and cold chain, cool surfaces such as reflective roofs, walls and pavements, and mitigation of urban heat island effects. Another area of focus will be working with public and private sector partners to raise awareness around efficient, clean cooling opportunities in emerging markets.