Feng Zengkun, Eco-Business
Based on an Eco-Business survey, it was found that people in their countries only have limited awareness of the negative impact of air conditioning and the differences in air conditioner models’ energy efficiency. Image: Arend Veenhuizen,CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Rising temperatures and a growing middle class are expected to cause a surge in the use of air-conditioners. Ahead of the inaugural Asean Cooling Summit next month, Eco-Business looks at efforts to avert its looming environmental cost.
From keeping medicines and vaccines useable to allowing food to be stored and transported over long distances, cooling technologies such as refrigerators and air conditioners have improved human health, productivity and prosperity over the past century.
A projected surge in their use over the next few decades, however, also poses a significant environmental threat.
Cooling systems now use large amounts of energy, and a growing number of them run on chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that can be thousands of times more harmful than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.