Rwanda and Marshall Islands emerge co-chairs of sustainable energy panel

Rwanda's Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, at a GGGI Inclusive Green Growth Partnership event at the Paris Climate Talks
Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, at a GGGI Inclusive Green Growth Partnership event at the Paris Climate Talks

Sustainable Energy for All today announced two government co-chairs and members of the new Cooling for All initiative Global Panel that will work to identify the challenges and opportunities of providing access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions for all.

The announcement follows the Panel’s inaugural meeting during the UN General Assembly.

Launched earlier in the year as record-breaking temperatures of 129 degrees were recorded in Iran, the Cooling for All Global Panel works together to better understand the challenges and opportunities of providing access to cooling solutions that can reach everyone within a clean energy transition.

Lack of cooling access risks health issues, work productivity and growing food loss – with current estimates showing that 30% of all food is either lost or wasted from lack of cold, refrigerated supply chains.

The panel, made up of leaders from business, philanthropic, policy and academia, will now work together to produce a comprehensive report that clearly addresses these challenges with evidence based recommendations.

The report, due for release in 2018, will help create a pathway to ensure the poorest countries and their citizens, who are often disproportionally affected, can have sustainable access to cooling solutions.

The Global Panel will be led by two co-chairs; President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands and Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources for the Republic of Rwanda.

Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), who will act as secretariat for the Global Panel, says “as temperatures soar, cooling demands risk creating a significant increase in energy demand, that if not managed through super-efficient technologies or clean sources, will cause further climate change impacts and a rise in emissions. The work of the Global Panel will therefore be critical to develop the evidence we need to understand the challenges and opportunities of providing cooling access for all.”

New Global Panel members include; Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Program; Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All; Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment; Dan Hamza Goodacre, Executive Director, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program.

Others are Juergen Fischer, President, Danfoss Cooling; Kate Hampton, CEO, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Climate Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego; Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organisation; Tina Birmbili, Executive Secretary to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; Iain Campbell, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute; Kurt Shickman, Executive Director, Global Cool Cities Alliance.

The work of the initiative and panel will create a direct intersect between three internationally agreed goals for the first time: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment* – with one of the key goals of the amendment to limit consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.

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