India Becomes First Nation to Have ‘Cooling Action Plan’

The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect the ozone layer, by weaning out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, and is similar to the Paris Agreement, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

The overarching aim of these initiatives is to meet the challenges of climate change.

To emphasise the importance of consistently working under the aegis of the Montreal Protocol to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances, on Monday, a day after World Ozone Day (16 September) the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the draft Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) along with a booklet on the ‘Montreal Protocol-India’s Success Story.’

Cooling is an important need across due to its considerable use in different sectors of the economy such as industries, residential and commercial buildings, transport etc.

India has some heavy cooling demands, and according to this report in the Business Insider, the nation might have an eightfold increase in cooling demand in the coming 20 years. However, India’s per capita energy consumption is still much lower than the developed nations like Japan and the UN, and even the developing countries like Brazil and Mexico.

Significance:

  • India is the first country in the world to develop such a document (ICAP), which addresses cooling requirement across sectors and lists out actions which can help reduce the cooling demand.
  • The overarching goal is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.

The goals emerging from the suggested interventions stated in ICAP are:

  • Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by the year 2037-38.
  • Reduction of refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by the year 2037-38.
  • Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by the year 2037-38.
  • Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by the year 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission.

The broad objectives of the India Cooling Action Plan include:

  • Assessment of cooling requirements across sectors in the next 20 years and the associated refrigerant demand and energy use.
  • Map the technologies available to cater the cooling requirement including passive interventions, refrigerant-based technologies and alternative technologies such as not-in-kind technologies.
  • Suggest interventions in each sector to provide for sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all.
  • Focus on skilling of RAC service technicians.
  • Develop an R&D innovation ecosystem for indigenous development of alternative technologies.
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