By admin April 6, 2019 11:14

Policy Watch: India Cooling Action Plan


It is a longer vision to address the cooling requirement across sectors.

The India Cooling Action seeks to

(i) reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38

(ii) reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38

(iii) Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38

(iv) recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under the national S&T Programme

(v) training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, synergizing with Skill India Mission. These actions will have significant climate benefits.

India is among the first countries to come up with a cooling action plan.

Need for the plan

  • Cooling requirement is cross-sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport, and industries.
  • Presently, the penetration of air conditioning in India is about 6-7% and may increase to 40% in the next 15 years. This means 60% of the population will be dependent on fans and coolers. The plans seek to address this quotient.
  • There is also a requirement to cool buildings which occupy a considerable space.
  • Refrigeration and cooling causes around 10% of global CO2 emissions.
  • Over 90% of transport cooling energy consumption is contributed by private cars.

Montreal Protocol

  • The Montreal Protocol is an international environmental agreement with universal ratification to protect the earth’s ozone layer by eliminating the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)
  • The ODS would otherwise allow increased UV radiation to reach the earth, resulting in higher incidence of skin cancers and eye cataracts, more-compromised immune systems, and negative effects on watersheds, agricultural lands, and forests.
  • Since its adoption in 1987 and as of end-2014, it has successfully eliminated over 98 percent of controlled ODS, helping reverse the damage to the ozone layer.
  • The transition from CFCs (high ozone depleting potential or ODP) to intermediate HCFCs (with lower ODP) has been completed, and the final transition is to alternatives that have zero ODP.
  • India has decided to curb those elements that deplete the ozone layer.
  • Around 197 members of the UN have signed the treaty.


  • Thermal comfort for all – provision for cooling for EWS and LIG housing
  • A temperature of 24 degrees is being focused on which gives reasonable cooling and avoids overcooling.
  • Sustainable cooling – low GHG emissions related to cooling
  • Doubling Farmers Income – better cold chain infrastructure – the better value of products to farmers, less wastage of produce
  • Skilled workforce for better livelihoods and environmental protection
  • Make in India – domestic manufacturing of air-conditioning and related cooling equipment’s
  • Robust R&D on alternative cooling technologies – to provide the push to innovation in a cooling sector.
  • Cooling is also linked to human health, productivity, and innovative thinking.
  • It will lead to healthy competition among builders to advertise their products as being energy efficient.
  • The consumer will also save money in the process of making products more energy efficient.
  • It will also help in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How will the plan help in enhancing energy efficiency?

  • The present-day cooling systems do not have very high energy efficiency. So, the focus of the plan is to encourage research and invest in technology to improve the components in cooling systems to enhance energy efficiency, demand for extra energy reduces and thus reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.
  • It is important to maintain thermal comfort for human beings as people cannot sustain during heatwaves.
  • In this respect, the plan seeks to replace elements with those that do not have high global warming potential.
  • The present-day refrigerants have global warming potential even 100 times higher than carbon dioxide.
  • So, the plan seeks to bring together intelligentsia and academia from all over the world to pursue new technologies that will increase energy efficiency.


  • The plan is urban-centric.
  • Even in urban areas, it does not take into account the people living on pavements, slum areas or any such formal living structures.
  • It also does not take into account farmers and daily wage workers.
  • Though building norms exist, they are not adhered to by builders.
  • The demand in the transport sector will rise every day.
  • A growing economy will have huge demands.

Way forward

  • Engineers and architects should see how they can merge the low-cost air cooling given by wind tunnel effect in old forts and palaces or the basement effect given by cooler materials, with the air conditioners.
  • There are technologies which achieve cooling without the requirement for refrigerators and air conditioners and reduce the greenhouse gas effect. Such technologies should be made use of in buildings.
  • Energy efficiency should gradually be brought about in all buildings as it caters to 60% of the cooling demand followed by the transport sector.
  • The focus should be on bringing in energy efficiency and cooling technology along with building technology by using materials which do not require energy.
  • The cities should also be designed to consume less energy by allowing one building to provide shade to the other so that incoming solar radiation is reduced and heat load gets reduced.
  • Under the skilling mission of the plan, the government should devise a mechanism to differentiate people who have undergone training under the plan and other technicians who work on conventional modes. This will encourage all technicians to be covered under the plan which will contribute to energy efficiency.

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Read Also:- Daily The Hindu

By admin April 6, 2019 11:14