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Enhancing Production of Affordable Cooling Devices

  • Context (PIB): The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, partnered with the World Bank to host a successful workshop on “Alleviating Heat Stress by Enhancing Production of Affordable Cooling Devices (AHEAD).
  • The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF&CC) and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) supported the initiative.

Significance of Affordable Cooling Devices Production

  • Rising demand: Increased global warming, the growing Indian economy, and increased purchase power will likely increase overall cooling demand by 10 times in the next two decades.
  • Safeguard GDP: Cooling interventions have the potential to save approximately 4.5% of GDP, nearly 329 billion USD, at risk by 2030 due to heatwaves.
  • Protect agricultural produce: The existing cold chain for agricultural produce meets only 4% of the total requirement.
  • Save foreign exchange: India spent nearly a billion USD in 2022-23 foreign exchange on importing cooling device components.
  • Help achieve India Cooling Action Plan target: The plan announced in 2019 to address the cooling emissions aims to reduce power consumption for cooling across sectors by 20-25% by 2038.
  • Uphold India’s commitment: It will show that India earnestly wants to reduce cooling emissions despite not being a part of the Global Cooling Pledge.

Global Cooling Pledge (GCP)

  • Sixty-three countries, including the US, have committed to the world’s first-ever Global Cooling Pledge at COP28 of UNFCCC.
  • The GCP mandates countries to cut cooling emissions by at least 68% by 2050.
    • Cooling emissions are generated from refrigerants (used in appliances like ACs and refrigerators) and the energy used for cooling.

Why was India Reluctant to Sign the Global Cooling Pledge?

    • With the rising global warming, cooling is not merely a luxury but essential for promoting overall well-being and improving living standards for a country like India.
    • Strict adherence to the ambitious targets of GCP may temporarily limit access to affordable cooling.
  1. Economic Growth and Investment
    • Transitioning to sustainable cooling technologies requires substantial investments that may strain the country’s economy and halt economic development.
  2. Not a Historical Contributor
    • India, a non-historical emitter, should not be unreasonably burdened to mitigate climate change.
    • goes against the Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) principle, enshrined in the Earth Summit 1992.

Way Ahead for Affordable Cooling Devices Production

  • Focus on overcoming domestic manufacturing challenges.
  • Exploring innovative policy and financing strategies.
  • Position India as a Global Manufacturing Hub for sustainable and affordable cooling technologies.
  • R&D for production of higher quality & cost-effective cooling devices.
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