Upscaling Sustainable Cooling in the Middle East through Cool Up and BUILD_ME

Guidehouse is working to reduce carbon emissions from cooling in the Middle East.


By 2040, energy demand in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is projected to increase by 50%. Climate change, continuous population and economic growth, accelerated urbanization, and higher standards of living will result in increased demand for cooling and thus exacerbate the adverse effects that increased energy and cooling demand has on the ozone layer and climate. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV) seeks to address these and other topics related to climate change mitigation in its International Climate Initiative (IKI).



To tackle this problem, Guidehouse is leading two programs that focus on infrastructure, efficient energy use, and sustainable cooling. With the support of nine international and national expert organizations, the Cool Up: Upscaling Sustainable Cooling program mitigates climate change through combined efforts in energy efficiency improvements and the transition to sustainable cooling technologies in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The program aims to accelerate the implementation of the Kigali Amendment as well as increase the ambition of and support for the implementation of the target countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Cool Up empowers actors to coordinate and implement political, technical, and financial frameworks with an integrated approach. BUILD_ME, with the support of seven international and national expert organizations, similarly aims to increase ambitions towards achieving climate-neutral building standards in the MENA region by providing technical assistance for pilot projects and facilitating policy dialogue. The Building Energy Performance (BEP) Tool is a cornerstone of this program and provides relevant actors in the MENA region a free, usable software tool to calculate the overall energy performance of buildings and the cost-effectiveness of building energy efficiency measures.

Guidehouse’s approach to both programs is holistic, integrating demonstration of new technologies, meaningful policy recommendations, and development of financing mechanisms and innovative business models. This approach is complemented by establishing partnerships with industry actors, building capacity among national, international and regional stakeholders, and developing knowledge in demonstration projects. Country-specific activities are defined for both programs, but overarching activities include the development of national action plans, policy assessments, analysis of technology and financing landscapes, regular stakeholder dialogue meetings, regional conferences, the creation of dissemination materials, and more.



Both Cool Up and BUILD_ME are shaping the future, not only for the built environment, but also for professionals shaping the industry. The BEP Tool has transcended borders, equipping over 4,000 individuals from more than 20 diverse countries with the knowledge and capability to drive sustainable change. The transformational impact of training 44 refrigeration and air conditioning sector technicians on the safe handling of natural refrigerants through Cool Up marks just the beginning of the capacity building of the program. As the program presses forward, envisioning a future with emissions reductions of 4,000 tCO2eq, the program sets sight on empowering more than 1,000 industry, finance, and policy stakeholders by its culmination. The collective effort of both programs propels us towards a world where innovative solutions know no bounds, and where environmental progress shapes industries and communities for generations to come.

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