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Green pathways present a $1.6-trn investment window: World Bank report

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Keeping spaces cool using alternative and innovative energy-efficient technologies can open up an investment opportunity of $1.6 trillion by 2040 in India, says a report released by the on Wednesday.


The report — “Climate Investment Opportunities in India’s Cooling Sector” — also found this shift to efficient technologies had the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emission and create nearly 3.7 million jobs.


Auguste Tano Kouamé, country director in India, said the report had suggested a sustainable road map for cooling, which had the potential to reduce 300 million tonnes of annually by 2040.


“India’s cooling strategy can help save lives and livelihoods, reduce carbon emissions, and simultaneously position India as a global hub for green cooling manufacturing,” he added.


The report has proposed a road map to support the India Cooling Action Plan’s (ICAP’s) new investments in three major sectors: Building and construction, cold chains, and refrigerants.


The report suggests private investment in district cooling technologies to generate chilled water in central plants. That can then be distributed to multiple buildings through underground insulated pipes and bring down energy bills by 20-30 per cent compared to the most efficient conventional cooling solution.


The report also suggests adopting climate-responsive cooling techniques in both private- and government-funded constructions.


“(The) Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), the affordable housing program, can adopt such changes on scale which would benefit over 11 million urban homes and over 29 million rural houses that the government aims to construct,” the report noted.


India, being a signatory to the Kigali agreement, aims to phase out by 2047 the production and use of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons, used as coolants in air-conditioners and refrigerators.


The report recommends improvements in servicing and maintenance and disposing of equipment that use hydrochlorofluorocarbons, alongside a shift to alternative options with a lower footprint.


“It can create 2 million jobs for trained technicians over the next two decades and reduce the demand for refrigerants by around 31 percent. Investing in pre-cooling and refrigerated transport can help decrease food loss by about 76 percent and reduce by 16 percent”, the report notes.


Besides, it also seeks establishing a flagship mission called “Thermal Comfort and Sustainable Cooling for All” to promote convergence across central, state and local levels and enable resource flow from both the public and private sectors.


“The right set of policy actions and public investment can help leverage large-scale private investment in this sector. We recommend that these moves be accelerated by creating a flagship government mission to address the challenges and opportunities from rising temperatures in India,” said Abhas K Jha, practice manager, climate and disaster risk management, South Asia, and Mehul Jain, specialist, .

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