As global temperatures reach record highs, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program have launched a new initiative to identify the challenges and opportunities of providing access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions for all.

The Cooling for All initiative focuses on how we embed growing cooling demands that can reach everyone within a clean energy transition, and in turn, support faster progress to achieve the goals of the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment* agreed in 2016 in Rwanda.

Cooling solutions are an essential need for everyday life – from cold supply chains for fresh produce, to safe storage of life saving vaccines and medicines, to safe work and educational environments that increase productivity. Cooling needs are not just an air conditioner, but a necessity that puts the focus on super-efficient technologies and innovation to meet our needs.

With populations rising, growing cooling needs risk creating a significant increase in energy demand that, if not managed through super-efficient technologies and clean energy sources, will cause a rise in global warming emissions and more extreme climate change impacts.

The work of the initiative therefore creates 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,* which aims to limit consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.

An important part of the initiative, supporting greater, more informed action, is the Cooling for All Global Panel, co-chaired by government leaders from the Marshall Islands and Rwanda. The panel brings together a group of high-level leaders from government, academia, civil society, business and finance leaders who, together, better understand the challenges and opportunities of providing access to cooling solutions for across the world.

The Global Panel had a key role in developing a new report released in July 2018, Chilling Prospects: Providing Sustainable Cooling for All. The SEforALL report identifies 1.1 billion people who face immediate risks from lack of cooling access, the vast majority of them in Asia and Africa. It also assesses the economic opportunities of the global cooling challenge and suggested actions for accelerating cooling solutions to create sustainable cooling access for all, including the poorest countries and their citizens who are often disproportionately affected.

Follow the conversation online using #CoolingForAll.


The Montreal Protocol is a multilateral environmental agreement that is successfully preventing massive damage to human health and the environment from excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun by phasing out the production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer. On 15 October 2016, in Kigali, the parties to the Montreal Protocol reached agreement at their 28th Meeting to phase down consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are frequently used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). Although HFCs are not ODSs, they are powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials (GWPs). The Kigali Amendment is a binding international agreement, or treaty, which is intended to create rights and obligations in international law.

The Cooling for All work is being funded by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program