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Linking Paris and Kigali: Accelerating the transition to green cooling

Reporting back from the Innovate4Climate 2019

Axel Michaelowa, Perspectives Climate Group
Bernhard Siegele, Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit

From 4-7 June 2019, the annual Innovate4Climate (I4C) conference was held in Singapore, bringing together representatives from business, finance, policy and technology to discuss global trends in climate finance, climate investment and carbon markets. This year, the I4C also focused on green cooling as one of its core topics. In this context, Perspectives Climate Group and GIZ organized a workshop on 4 June on accelerating the transition to green cooling through exploiting the synergies in implementing the Paris Agreement as well as the Kigali Amendment under the Montreal Protocol. The workshop attracted over 40 participants.

The event was moderated by Axel Michaelowa, senior founding partner of Perspectives Climate Group. He set the scene of the event by presenting the key message of a recently published discussion paper on the interaction between the Paris Agreement and the Kigali Amendment that highlights the opportunities to secure long-term climate benefits under the Kigali Amendment through early HFC reduction under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. In his presentation, he further discussed the necessary design elements for an Article 6 activity that would achieve such a “baseline shaving effect” of reducing the HFC consumption and production levels in the baseline years of the Kigali Amendment. Also, necessary safeguards to ensure additionality and eliminate perverse incentives were detailed.

In his presentation, Bernhard Siegele, manager of the GIZ Proklima programme, explained drivers for cooling demand and emissions by pointing to demand and consumption trends in refrigeration and air-conditioning. He emphasized that mitigation must enhance the synergies between enhancing energy efficiency, reducing the GHG intensity in energy supply and phasing out HFCs. He went on to present the relevance of refrigeration and air-conditioning on the international agenda, particularly in the context of the Agenda 2030 and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Montreal Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Finally, he presented the GIZ Proklima programme that is supporting 40 countries in the field of integrated ozone and climate protection through using and promoting natural refrigerants and energy-efficient appliances in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors since 1995.

Johannes Heister, Senior environmental specialist of the GEF-MP Coordination Unit of the World Bank,highlighted the importance of the cooling sector for the Paris Agreement, along with the need to locate the action on refrigeration and cooling in the broader context of mitigation in the energy sector by employing a systematic perspective. He noted that no financing options are readily available yet in the cooling sector and the potential of article 6 mechanisms to complement the fragmented multilateral finance activities in this area. 

In the subsequent discussion, participants discussed the integration of cooling-heating and water management, the technical feasibility of HCs in mobile refrigeration, as well as the ambition of the Kigali Amendment and the example of the cooling sector, as a sector with binding targets, for the Paris Agreement.

Further reading: Michaelowa, Axel; Siegele, Bernhard; Krey, Matthias; Espelage, Aglaja (2019): Mobilizing green cooling through Article 6: enhancing synergies between the Kigali Amendment and the Paris Agreement, in: Carbon Mechanisms Review I4C Special Issue 2019, p.31-35