Warming temperatures coupled with population growth, urbanization, and higher standards of living mean that demand for cooling is set to soar. An estimated 3.6 billion cooling devices are already in use worldwide, with roughly 10 being added every second. Using more sustainable cooling solutions could prevent up to 0.5°C in additional global warming by 2100. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey all face rapidly growing demand for cooling, as well as structural energy challenges. International Climate Initiative (IKI), a funding instrument of the German federal government that supports climate action and biodiversity in developing and emerging countries, wanted to support these four partner countries to build heat resilience while mitigating climate change.
IKI turned to Guidehouse to create and lead a consortium that could deliver a sustainable cooling program spanning six years, four countries, and both private and public sectors. Guidehouse’s project team pairs international cross-sector expertise with local insight. Spread across Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, the Guidehouse team encompasses people from four continents, including Turkish, Jordanian, and Egyptian nationals, and spans disciplines from finance and policy to technology and communications. The consortium combines technical authorities, including Dresden’s Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration; global thought leaders, including the UN Development Programme and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management; and local partners, such as the Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation and the National Energy Research Center, part of Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society. The program, titled Cool Up—Upscaling Sustainable Cooling, launched in 2021 and will run until 2027.
The Cool Up Programme covers residential and commercial air conditioning as well as commercial refrigeration, specifically supermarkets. Demonstration projects will help build trust in sustainable cooling technologies, inspire new technology innovation backed by solid evidence, and help local manufacturers transition to sustainable product lines. Stakeholder dialogues will facilitate work on implementation, including the replacement and safe disposal of inefficient cooling appliances and refrigerants, and the promotion of improved cooling appliance operation, training, and awareness.
Guidehouse and the consortium have already achieved buy-in from partner governments and are working on policy and high-level action plans. Policy and regulation are key not only to transforming the cooling industry but to reducing demand for cooling, since options such as improved shading, ventilation, and building shell quality, as well as demand control, all increase heat resilience. The program exemplifies some common strengths found in entities that successfully build infrastructure resilience, including innovation, connectedness through strong links to both governments and NGOs, and teamwork with partner countries across the globe.