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Cooling

Cooling energy use in buildings has doubled since 2000, making it the fastest growing end-use in buildings, led by a combination of warmer temperatures and increased activity.

Cooling Jpg

Key findings

CO2 emissions from, and emissions intensity of, air conditioning in the Net Zero Scenario, 2000-2030

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Most people purchase new air conditioners that are two to three times less efficient than the best available model

2021 was one of the seven warmest years on record. In addition, the past seven years have been the hottest ever recorded. Space cooling demand experienced the highest annual growth among all buildings end uses in 2021 and accounted for nearly 16% of buildings sector final electricity consumption (about 2 000 TWh).

As the planet warms, ensuring that cooling needs are met equitably is of primary importance. Efficiency standards are a key measure to avoid the lock-in of inefficient air-conditioning units in coming decades, together with passive, nature-based and alternative solutions to air conditioners (which need to be prioritised where possible to mitigate the growth in demand for active technologies), and improved design of buildings and districts.

Global air conditioner stock, 1990-2050

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The world faces a 'cold crunch'

Without efficiency gains, space cooling energy use could more than double between now and 2040 due to increased activity and use of air conditioning. In the Efficient World Scenario, energy efficiency for cooling offsets much of the climate, activity and structure impacts to limit cooling energy growth between now and 2040 to 19%.
Our work

The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is a philanthropic collaboration launched in 2017 to support the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol and the transition to efficient, clean cooling solutions for all.

This site serves as a progress tracker for the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol.


The DHC TCP conducts research and development as well as policy analysis and international co-operation to increase the market penetration of district heating and cooling systems with low environmental impact.

The mission of the Energy Storage TCP is to facilitate research, development, implementation and integration of energy storage technologies to optimise the energy efficiency of all kinds of energy systems and enable the increasing use of renewable energy. Storage technologies are a central component in energy-efficient and sustainable energy systems. Energy storage is a cross-cutting issue that relies on expert knowledge of many disciplines. The Energy Storage TCP fosters widespread experience, synergies and cross-disciplinary co-ordination of working plans and research goals.

The HPT TCP functions as an international framework of co-operation and knowledge exchange for the different stakeholders in the field of heat pumping technologies used for heating, cooling, air-conditioning and refrigeration in buildings, industries, thermal grids and other applications. The mission of the HPT TCP is to accelerate the transformation to an efficient, renewable, clean and secure energy sector in its member countries and beyond through collaboration research, demonstration and data collection and through enabling innovations and deployment in the area of heat pumping technologies.

Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP works to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.