Pushing the private sector on sustainable cooling

The Environmental Investigation Agency US (EIA US) has released a new report calling for private sector commitments on cooling to be meaningful enough to tackle the climate crisis.

EIA US says the suite of government contributions to curb greenhouse gas emissions alone are not enough to put the world on a path to limit warming to 1.5°C. Private sector investment and actions must also be developed within a framework that aligns with science-based targets and ensures transparency and accountability for meeting commitments.

“Eliminating hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the cooling sector is central to achieving global climate goals,” says EIA US. “At the 2023 United Nations Climate Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, sustainable cooling is expected to be a major focus. The cooling sector has been slow to adopt science-based emission reduction targets, presenting a unique opportunity to advance action to fulfill the crucial role of phasing down and ultimately phasing out HFCs to tackle the climate crisis.

EIA US Climate Campaign Lead Avipsa Mahapatra, who launched the report at the UN’s mid-year climate meeting (SB58) in Bonn, says the scale of the climate crisis requires the private sector to go beyond “toothless commitments”.

“Corporate cooling commitments have hitherto been a patchwork of actions with inconsistent additionality, measurability, cross-comparability and accountability,” says Mahapatra. “In this pivotal decade for climate action, the private sector must go beyond words, and meaningfully commit to unlocking the full potential of sustainable cooling to accelerate emissions reductions.”

EIA’s proposed framework aims to accelerate emission reductions through voluntary private sector commitments by ensuring consistent standards, metrics, and definitions, such as criteria for ultra-low GWP technology adoption, quantifiable emission reductions based on verifiable actions, and criteria and timeframe for reporting.

As well as the proposed framework, the report includes case studies on previous voluntary commitments, and recommendations for commitments and actions on HFCs.

Beyond Words: A Framework for Responsible Private Sector Action on Sustainable Cooling, is available at the EIA US website.

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