More than 15 million people are employed worldwide in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) sector which consumes about 20% of the overall electricity used worldwide.
Listing the reasons why RAC is an essential service, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) said if the world was deprived of RAC, data centres and the Internet, would collapse in minutes.
“Refrigeration is vital for reducing post-harvest losses and in the preservation of food products,” the IRR statement said.
“Air conditioning also plays a key role in the economic and social development of warmer countries and its use is expanding dramatically - especially in the world’s emerging economies - with rising global temperatures.
“In the healthcare sector, refrigeration preserves pharmaceutical products and medicines, especially vaccines. New treatments, such as cryosurgery or cryotherapy, were developed thanks to ultra-low temperature technologies.”
Refrigeration is also employed in numerous industrial processes such as chemicals, plastics and natural gas liquefaction (LNG).
The IIR said installers, engineers and technicians responsible for equipment servicing and maintenance – all play a major role in insuring the ongoing operation of refrigeration equipment.
“This is essential in particular in hospitals, nursing homes for the elderly who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as food retail and industries,” IIR said.
The IRR is the only independent intergovernmental science and technology-based organisation which promotes knowledge of all refrigeration fields, ranging from very low temperature applications to air conditioning via the food cold chain.
With 59 member countries, the IIR has a network of several hundred renowned experts on five continents.