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Call to address AC and fridge efficiency at COP26

UK: Government ministers attending COP26 are facing a multi-national call to double the efficiency of air conditioners, refrigerators, industrial motors and lighting by 2030.

The Product Efficiency Call to Action targets the four appliances which it claims are responsible for 40% of global electricity consumption. Improving the energy efficiency of these everyday appliances and equipment is seen as critical in achieving net zero emissions by 2050. 

The initiative has been launched by the multi-national Super-Efficient Equipment & Appliance Deployment (SEAD) Initiative, the UK government’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the International Energy Agency (IEA), and CLASP, an international non-profit organisation promoting increased energy efficiency standards.

The promoters of the initiative are convinced that the Call to Action has the potential to be the largest energy efficiency commitment in history. To date, 10 governments have signed the Call to Action, with more endorsements expected in advance of COP26 next month.

It is also said to be backed by an impressive and growing network of 20 civil society and environmental organisations. These include the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, University of Birmingham, Climate Analytics, the Climate Group Initiative EP100, the Carbon Trust, the Energy Saving Trust, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, E3G, Future of Cooling Programme at the University of Oxford, Green Alliance, RMI, Sustainable Energy for All, UNIDO, United Nations Environment Programme, United 4 Efficiency, and World Wide Fund for Nature.

“Global support of the Call to Action would cut global electricity demand by 30,000TWh and avoid 13Gt of CO2 emissions cumulatively through 2030,” said Dan Hamza Goodacre of the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. “These savings are equivalent to the generation of over 1,500 coal-fired power plants and would lower consumers’ energy bills by $3.75 trillion.”

SEAD is working with member countries to support the use of the energy performance ladder to increase efficiency ambition across a greater number of markets based on a single consistent set of performance thresholds. It also aims to promote new digital tools and business models to both improve the efficiency of key appliances and unlock the wider system benefits they present.

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