NRDC and Partners Comment on Draft India Cooling Action Plan
In a joint letter sent to India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and partners made recommendations for improvements to the recently-released draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). India’s national plan for addressing cooling requirements is the first of its kind among nations, and is a critical step toward achieving the country’s goal of providing sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all, while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for society.
The draft plan was created through a collaborative process that incorporated the input of stakeholders from government, industry, science and civil society. It is now in a period of public consultation. Experts from NRDC, Administrative Staff College of India, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar examined the draft ICAP and are issuing joint comments for consideration as the plan is finalized.
“The draft ICAP document presents a clear and unique forward-thinking vision, an impressive analytical approach, and the way forward in coordinating and aligning government agencies and private organizations to work together for a more prosperous future with environmental protection safeguards,” the group wrote. Specific support was expressed for the plan’s focus on a multi-stakeholder approach, its inclusion of programs for economically weaker sections, and its focus on research and development.
The group detailed four areas for potential improvement:
- Opportunities under the Montreal Protocol and Kigali Amendment
- Addressing transport air conditioning as a key growing sector
- Scaling up initiatives on space cooling in buildings
- Institutional framework and implementation
Focus on Super Pollutants
World leaders will gather in Quito, Ecuador next month for the 30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol where phasing out heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will be a key topic. India has a strong record on transitioning chemicals under the protocol and completed its phase out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 17 months ahead of schedule. NRDC and partners urge all member states to accelerate their action on HFCs, which are generated by cooling and refrigeration. Rapidly eliminating these super pollutants would protect the planet from 0.5°C of warming.