South Africa National Cooling Plan
South Africa is committed to preserving the environment and addressing climate change related issues based on science and equity. In 2019, South Africa ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to simultaneously protect the ozone layer and contribute to mitigating climate change. In 2015, South Africa also signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement to fight against climate change and committed to achieve a “peak, plateau and decline” greenhouse gas (GHG) trajectory at a level between 398 and 614 MtCO2e/year by 20301. In 2021 revised target ranges of 398-510 Mt CO2-eq for 2025, and 398-440 Mt CO2-eq for 2030 were issued, as well as aspiring to reach a net zero carbon economy by 2050.
Addressing the environmental impacts of cooling products converges the objectives of these two treaties. Cooling products are the main source of HFC use and they consume a significant amount of electricity produced from emission intensive coal fired power plants. South Africa’s efforts to mitigate global warming can therefore be amplified if the energy efficiency (EE) of cooling products is improved at the same time a refrigerant transition from HFC is considered. Synergistic actions with respect to sustainable cooling access across sectors will have a higher impact than actions taken in isolation.