North America

ATMO Keynoter: NatRefs and Efficient Cooling Need to be ‘Joined Up’

There needs to be a better alignment between the transition to natural refrigerants and the adoption of more energy efficient cooling equipment, said the keynote speaker yesterday at the ATMOsphere America conference, which runs online from October 20-22.

“They haven’t historically talked to each other very well,” said Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Non-Executive Director of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and the ClimateWorks Foundation, in his keynote presentation, “Net-Zero Cooling for All.” (ATMOsphere America is organized by shecco, publisher of this website.) K-CEP is a global philanthropic organization focused on supporting the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, particularly in developing countries.

“Governments will put in place a regulation for standards on efficiency but not standards for f-gases,” he said. “They haven’t been joined up.” The same is true of products, which will have a label highlighting efficiency but not one for refrigeration. 

“We’re hoping to help the market be transformed in a more joined-up way, and open up access to cooling,” he added. For example, K-CEP is helping to foster a better understanding of cooling efficiency at local Ozone Secretariat offices “so they understand how we ride these two horses at the same time – a refrigerant transition and an efficiency transition.”

K-CEP has helped 22 governments propose, adopt or implement new cooling policies, mostly minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for refrigeration and air conditioning. “That’s our bread and butter,” said Hamza-Goodacre. Some countries have also adopted labeling and incentive programs. 

Five countries, including India and China, have published National Cooling Action Plans, he noted. “They are attempting to see the bigger picture” and asking “What are the cooing needs for our country and how do we meet those needs for everybody, including those who don’t have access to electricity?”

K-CEP is part of an initiative that is seeking “net-zero cooling for all,” part of the broader “Race to Zero” carbon emissions campaign that has gotten pledges from 2,000 organizations, businesses, and state and city governments that represent “50% of the global GDP,” Hamza-Goodacre said. “We need to get to net-zero cooling for all to stabilize the climate.”

Natural refrigerants have a key role to play in the pursuit of net-zero. “There is no path to net zero in a refrigerant-as-usual scenario,” he said, but he added that “even more climate-friendly solutions are needed.”

The Kigali Amendment itself, with its focus on HFC-reduction over the next 25 years, “is necessary but not sufficient, and needs adjusting so it can align with net-zero cooling.”

There is no path to net zero in a refrigerant-as-usual scenario.

Dan Hamza-Goodacre, K-CEP