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This report quantifies the GHG benefits of implementing aggressive but economic energy efficiency measures (about 30% more efficient than current technology) in air- conditioning (AC) and large commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE) together with low-GWP refrigerants. Shifting the 2030 world stock of room ACs and CRE from current levels of energy- efficiency and high-GWP refrigerants to “economic” energy efficiency levels and low-GWP refrigerants by 2050 would avoid up to 240.1 GT CO2e and shifting to “best-available technology” energy efficiency levels and low GWP refrigerants by 2050 would avoid up to 373 GT CO2e with existing electricity grid emission factors. About two-thirds of this cumulative savings are from reduced electricity sector emissions from improved energy efficiency. Thus, it is highly beneficial to pursue high energy efficiency in concert with the transition to lower GWP refrigerants to achieve maximal GHG reductions with the least amount of equipment re-design and replacement.

Mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles. This study, conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation in partnership with IGSD, examines the GHG benefits and costs of switching to improved refrigerants and more efficient AC systems. This research is intended to support implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which requires the phase-down of HFC refrigerants and also targets improvements in energy efficiency.

The new report is a set of maps and graphics, accompanied by short narratives to synthesize and illustrate the most critical, connected environmental challenges with Arctic and global relevance and focusing on issues which call for common solutions. The graphics builds on Arctic and global environmental assessments and reflect the dynamic connection between the Arctic and the rest of the planet. It presents both trends and outlooks and provides actionable recommendations focused on policy development and options for solutions. The issues covered by this product reflect the themes of the current Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council – climate change, biodiversity conservation and pollution prevention.

In a warming world cooling will be increasingly important for people’s health and productivity, and for achievement of many of the SDGs. However, growing demand for cooling will, if current approaches are continued, contribute significantly to further global warming, both from the emissions of HFCs and other refrigerants, and from the CO2 and black carbon emissions from the mostly fossil fuel-based energy currently powering ACs and other cooling equipment. If robust policies are implemented quickly to promote the use of best available technologies in the cooling sector, the associated emission reductions will make significant contribution to meeting Paris Agreement goals. A combined strategy to improve energy efficiency of cooling equipment while phasing down HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol presents one of the biggest mitigation opportunities available today.

Chapter 15: Technologies for Super Pollutant Mitigation 

The chapter explore a complementary climate solution to CO2 reductions: reducing a key group of warming agents knows as super pollutants or short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) to bend the warming curve quickly (over a few decades) while we pursue CO2 mitigation to bend the curve in the long term (over several decades to centuries). Combined, these efforts, if enacted by 2020, give us a significant chance (about 90% probability) of keeping warming well below 2°C (aiming for 1.5°C) in this century and beyond. Mitigation of SLCPs, if completed by 2030, can bend the warming curve by up to 0.6°C by 2050 (about 0.4°C from methane mitigation, 0.1°C from black carbon, and 0.1°C from HFCs), cutting the rate of projected warming by about half compared with “business as usual” and reducing the projected sea level rise between 2020 and 2050 by 20%.