Solving the global cooling challenge: how to counter the climate threat from room air conditioners

Increasing incomes and urbanisation will see increase in room air conditioning units from 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion in the world by 2050 when India alone may account for one billion units. India will, in fact, see a phenomenal growth during the period - from 26.3 million installed stock of room air conditioner (RAC) units in 2016 to over 1 billion in 2050. It means its share will jump from 2.2% of the overall RACs globally to almost 25% in next three decades. This projected jump in space cooling requirement will need three times more electricity by that period from the 2016 level in a world that has already seen nearly one degree Celsius rise in average temperatures from the pre-industrial level. And, if the world continues to carry on with the same air conditioning technology, the temperature of the planet will rise by 0.5 degree through use of cooling units alone. These findings are part of a report - Solving the Global Cooling Challenge - which was released by environment minister on the inaugural day of the Global Cooling Innovation Summit.