- The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The ICAP provides a 20-year perspective and outlines actions needed to provide access to sustainable cooling.
- The plan describes cooling as a “developmental need” and seeks to address the rising demand in cooling, from buildings to transport to cold-chains, through sustainable actions.
- The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society. This will also help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions.
- The plan estimates that the national cooling demand would grow eight times in the next 20 years, which would result in a corresponding five to eight-fold rise in the demand for refrigerants that involve the use of HFCs.
- The Plan 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) recognise “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national Science and Technology Programme,
(v) training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, synergizing with Skill India Mission.
- As part of the ICAP, the government has also announced targeted R&D efforts aimed at developing low-cost alternatives to HFCs.
- The following benefits would accrue to the society over and above the environmental benefits: (i) Thermal comfort for all – provision for cooling for EWS and LIG housing, (ii) Sustainable cooling – low GHG emissions related to cooling, (iii) Doubling Farmers Income – better cold chain infrastructure – better value of produce to farmers, less wastage of produce, (iv) Skilled workforce for better livelihoods and environmental protection, (v) Make in India – domestic manufacturing of air-conditioning and related cooling equipments, (vi) Robust R&D on alternative cooling technologies – to provide push to innovation in cooling sector.
- Cooling is also linked to human health and productivity. Linkages of cooling with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are well acknowledged.
- The cross-sectoral nature of cooling and its use in development of the economy makes provision for cooling an important developmental necessity.
- The development of ICAP has been a multi-stakeholder inclusive process encompassing different Government Ministries/Departments/Organizations, Industry and Industry Associations, Think tanks, Academic and R&D institutions.
Why in News?
- This information was given by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in Lok Sabha.