A UN official has said that as global temperatures reach record high, providing cooling systems which are effective, sustainable and do not harm the environment is increasingly essential for everyday life.
According to Rachel Kyte, chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All, and special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sustainable Energy for All(SEforALL)“access to cooling is a fundamental issue of equity, and as temperatures hit record levels, for some, it can mean the difference between life and death”.
“As the world rapidly urbanizes, warms and populations grow, cooling is an urgent development challenge that has important ramifications for our climate. It requires fast action to protect the most vulnerable, and is vital for economic productivity by allowing workers, farmers and students to work in comfortable environments” ,she added.
The UN News cited SEforALL’s “Chilling Prospects: Providing Sustainable Cooling for All” report as showing that there are more than 1.1 billion people globally “who face immediate risks from lack of access to cooling.”
These risks are issues of both development and climate change, as they pose problems for the health, safety, and productivity of populations across the world, especially countries in Asia and Africa where access gaps are the largest.
This challenge offers business and entrepreneurs the opportunity of major new consumer markets which require super-efficient, affordable technologies to meet their cooling needs.
Based on the “Chilling Prospects” analysis, of the 1.1 billion people who lack access globally, 470 million people are in poor rural areas without access to safe food and medicines, and 630 million people are in hotter, urban slums with little or no cooling to protect them against extreme heatwaves.
Nine countries have the biggest populations facing significant cooling risks, including India, Bangladesh, Brazil and Sudan.