Context: According to the report, “Climate Investment Opportunities in India’s Cooling Sector” which was released by the World Bank recently, from 2030 onwards, more than 160 to 200 million people could be exposed to a lethal heat wave in India every year, and around 34 million Indians will face job losses due to heat stress-related productivity decline.
Key findings of the report:
- By 2037, the demand for cooling is likely to be eight times more than the current level, the World Bank has said in a report.
- In this scenario, it is imperative for India to deploy alternative and innovative energy efficient technologies for keeping spaces cool.
- According to the report, it could open an investment opportunity of $1.6 trillion by 2040, besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly and creating 3.7 million jobs.
- With the demand for cooling shooting up, there will be a demand for a new air-conditioner every 15 seconds, the report said, leading to an expected rise of 435% in annual greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.
About Heat Wave:
- It is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season.
- It typically occurs between March and June, and in some rare cases even extends till July.
- The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death.
Criterion for declaring heat waves in India:
- Heat wave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.
- Based on Departure from Normal Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.50°C to 6.40°C.
- Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.40 degree C.
- Based on Actual Maximum Temperature Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45 degree C.
- Very Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47 degree C.
- If the above criteria met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological subdivision for at least two consecutive days and it was declared on the second day
Suggestive measures proposed in the report:
- The report proposes a road map to support New Delhi’s India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), 2019, through new investments in three major sectors: building construction, cold chains and refrigerants.
- Adopting climate-responsive cooling techniques as a norm in both private and government-funded constructions can ensure that those at the bottom of the economic ladder are not disproportionately affected by rising temperatures.
- The report suggests that India’s affordable housing programme for the poor, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), can adopt such changes on scale.
- It proposed enacting a policy for “district cooling”, which could lead to the consumption of 20-30% less power than the most efficient conventional cooling solutions.
- Apart from this, guidelines for implementation of local and city-wide urban cooling measures such as cool-roofs should also be considered.
- India’s cooling strategy can help save lives and livelihoods and reduce carbon emissions.
Source: The Hindu