How to heat up – and cool down – climate innovation – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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This article is presented to you through The European Sting’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Dave Regner, Chairman and CEO of Trane Technologies


  • Building heating and cooling technologies generate about 15% of the world’s carbon emissions, while food losses add 10%.
  • New technologies that contribute to the decarbonization of these areas are increasingly used for industry and transport.
  • Policymakers should encourage businesses and consumers to switch to these technologies and promote collaboration between governments, industry and NGOs in these areas of business.

Heating and cooling are necessary for modern life. This includes comfort control in homes and buildings, as well as temperature control in industrial processes. It also includes a cold chain that ensures the safe delivery of food, medicine and vaccines worldwide.

Although heating and cooling technologies ensure the health, safety and comfort of people, they also affect the climate. According to the World Green Building Council, about 28% of the world’s CO2 emissions come from the operation of buildings due to the energy used for heating, cooling and electricity. An analysis of Trane Technologies’ energy management of buildings combined with data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Project Drawdown, the Coalition for Climate and Clean Air and other third-party sources shows that 15% of global carbon emissions come from heating and cooling buildings. in particular, while another 10% is accounted for by food losses and waste.

The rapidly growing demand for heating and cooling is also putting a huge strain on energy systems around the world. In its report “The Future of Cooling”, the IEA predicts that “without action on energy efficiency, the need for energy to cool space by 2050 will increase more than threefold.”

The good news is that innovations already exist to increase energy efficiency and decarbonize heating, cooling and ventilation, while creating comfortable, healthy indoor spaces. If we can accelerate the adoption of these technologies and scale them globally, this will lead us to the goal of the UNFCC – zero carbon emissions no later than 2050. The following decisions will play an important role in shaping a more sustainable future for the global economy.

“Innovations already exist to increase energy efficiency and decarbonise heating, cooling and ventilation, while creating comfortable, healthy indoor spaces.” – Dave Regner, Trane Technologies

Decarbonisation in action in industry

Heat recovery can be applied in innovative ways for maximum stability.

The Dutch city of Aalsmeer, just 30 minutes from Amsterdam, has set an impressive goal of becoming energy-neutral by 2040. To this end, the municipality, NorthC data centers, a local sports complex, a childcare center and a nearby plant nursery have set up the Energy Hub Aalsmeer.

The center emits waste heat, and the sports complex and plant nursery use gas boilers. The Trane Technologies team has developed a closed-loop custom system to recover waste heat from the NorthC data center and supply heated water elsewhere. The cooled water is returned back to the data center, compensating for the cooling load. Through these symbiotic relationships, these groups can achieve sustainability goals while reducing emissions and costs.

Large commercial and industrial buildings can also significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by combining heating and cooling into one system, eliminating the need for gas boilers.. Fully electric heat pump systems used for this purpose recover and resell heat and are 350% more efficient than most gas boiler systems. When drawing from a green grid they can be a zero-emission solution for buildings and cities.

Other decarbonization technologies, such as heat storage and connected controls for highly efficient smart buildings, can be used to maintain people’s health and comfort while reducing energy consumption and emissions. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy recently invested $ 61 million in 10 pilot projects to build “connected communities” of buildings with smart controls, sensors and analytical capabilities to help reduce energy consumption, costs and emissions.

Reduction of carbon in the cold chain

Electrification of the cold circuit will also help achieve the zero-emission target. Cold chain requires refrigeration technology to ensure that important cargoes, such as food and pharmaceuticals, remain at the right temperature throughout through logistics. Today, many refrigerated fleets use electrical technology to reduce their impact on the environment.

Unlike typical refrigeration units that run on a car engine and run on a separate diesel / gasoline generator, electrically powered refrigeration units avoid the use of fossil fuels and emissions. These devices also continue to operate reliably even when the vehicle is not in use. This ensures that the food stays fresh and avoids emissions caused by food waste.

Such technologies help Trane Technologies fulfill our Gigaton mission, which is committed to reducing our customers ’carbon emissions by one billion metric tons by 2030. While this goal is ambitious, we are confident we will achieve it because we have already achieved seeing the impact of climate innovation on emission reductions.

What is the World Economic Forum doing with climate change?

Climate change poses an immediate threat that requires decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased impacts on climate, from drought to floods and sea rising. In the World Economic Forum report on global risks, these environmental threats remain at the top of the list.

To limit global warming to well below 2 ° C and as close as possible to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, it is important that businesses, politicians and civil society promote integrated climate and short-term climate action in line with the Paris Agreement about climate change.

Global warming can be defeated through this simple plan

The World Climate Forum initiative supports the scaling up and acceleration of global climate action through public-private partnerships. The initiative works in several areas of work to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes Alliance CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from a variety of industries developing cost-effective solutions for the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence on politicians and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and understand the economic benefits of a safer climate.

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We can accelerate the adoption of sustainable heating and cooling by promoting policies that encourage businesses and consumers to switch to decarbonization technologies. The development of cooperation between governments, industry and NGOs will also be key. Together we can safely challenge what is possible for a sustainable world.

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