With rising global temperatures and increasingly severe heatwaves, much of the world’s population is vulnerable to the growing health risks of extreme heat. Cooling is critical for human wellbeing, health and the functioning of society. It enables thermal comfort of societies at high temperatures and is critical for industrial production and for the preservation of food and medicine. Climate change – alongside increasing affluence, space and comfort needs – means the world is facing an unprecedented growth in cooling demand. This has the potential to drive one of the most substantial increases in energy and greenhouse gas emissions in recent history. However, despite the central role of cooling in climate change and sustainable development, the risks and benefits of sustainable cooling remain a global blind spot. In a new “perspective” paper, published in Nature Sustainability, my colleagues and I explore the links between cooling and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and put together a framework to help identify solutions to deliver sustainable cooling for all.
Carbon Brief 19th Oct 2020 read more »