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India has launched an action plan to deal with massive cooling demand over the next two decades.

The plan includes initiatives to phasedown HFCs, improve energy efficiency and seek out climate friendly technologies.

The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) seeks to reduce cooling demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38 using 2017-18 as the base year.

This is in addition to reducing cooling demand across industry sectors by 20% to 25%, while at the same time reducing cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% over the same period of time.

While India is yet to officially ratify the Kigali Amendment, India’s Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said the aim of the action plan is to look for synergies to achieve both environmental and socio-economic benefits.

“The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society. This will also help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions,” he said.

“Climate action is not a technical issue, but a moral issue for us. India is the first country in the world to have a nationwide cooling action plan.”

India’s per capita cooling energy consumption is currently only 69kWh per person, against a global average of 272kWh, but India’s aggregated nationwide cooling requirement is projected to grow eight-fold by 2037-38.

Building sector cooling is set to experience 11-fold growth from 2017-18 levels.

Even though India has some of the lowest cooling access in the world, considering that only 8% of households have room air conditioners, studies show that this will rise to 40% by 2037-38.

The action plan also recommends use of climate appropriate and energy efficient building design for construction as well as the introduction of building energy codes, thermal comfort standards, eco-labelling of cooling products.

Vardhan also announced a national skills development program to train 100,000 new RAC technicians by 2011-23.

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