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As the world heats up, converting to energy-efficient cooling systems will curb greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change reporter Emma Newburger, writing for CNBC, reports that making cooling systems more energy efficient will be a powerful way of curbing greenhouse emissions, according to a new report from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).

The UNEP report, which was prepared jointly with the International Energy Agency (IEA), describes how the world could prevent 460 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases and save $2.8 trillion USD in costs over the next 40 years by using more efficient cooling systems. Part of this change stems from increasing global temperatures, which in turn is leading to more use of air conditioning units: the 3.6 billion units in use today may quadruple to 14 billion by 2050.

Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director, says that the Covid-19 crisis presents a “unique opportunity” to accelerate global progress in this area, since world governments are already rolling out economic stimulus packages that will need to create new jobs and improve living circumstances.

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