• Climate Change

Japan Among Over 60 Nations Pledging to Cut 68% of Cooling Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050 from 2022 Level

A shadow is reflected near a COP28 logo during the U.N. Climate Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.

DUBAI — Japan was among the 63 nations that have signed a global pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the cooling sector by at least 68% by 2050 compared to the 2022 level.

The pledge was signed during the 28th U.N. climate change conference, also known as COP28, being held in the United Arab Emirates.

The cooling sector, which includes air conditioning and refrigeration, accounts for about 20% of the world’s total electricity consumption. This percentage is expected to more than double by 2050 due to rising demand for cooling appliances prompted by global warming and population growth, according to the U.N. Environment Program.

Cooling appliances use refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons, whose greenhouse effect is generally several hundreds to more than 10,000 times worse than that of carbon dioxide. If no measures are taken, the cooling sector will account for more than 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The pledge noted that reducing power consumption by enhancing insulation and energy-efficiency of cooling appliances could cut greenhouse gas emissions in the cooling sector by more than 60% by 2050 and save up to $5 trillion in electricity bills.