New National Cooling Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago

Cooling is a critical element for the sustainability and development of the economy. It is required to ensure homes, offices, and cars are comfortable; industrial processes run safely and efficiently while ensuring societies have preserved foods and medicines.

In commemoration of World Environment Day on June 5, 2020, the Ministry of Planning and Development is announcing for the information of the public the establishment of a National Cooling Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago (NCSTT) by Cabinet approval. 

The NCSTT establishes a national strategy to address the country’s needs in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector, driving a rapid transition to high-performance cooling equipment, while undertaking phase-out activities of outdated equipment and gases under the Montreal Protocol, enhancing T&T’s climate protection efforts. The implementation of the NCSTT can:

  • Reduce electricity wastage;
  • Reduce consumer as well as public and private sector expenditure on utility bills;
  • Create thermal comfort while reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;
  • Enhance the employment of and increase the skillsets of local RAC technicians.

The ten year time frame of the strategy from 2020 to 2030 involves financial assessments; the development of a refrigeration plan; training and capacity development; and the development of mechanisms for the recovery, recycling and disposal of spent refrigeration gases.  The proposal has also been made for the development of green building codes for T&T.

Notwithstanding being identified as essential, cooling has a significant adverse environmental impact, due to its contribution to global warming. The refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) sector (cooling sector) contributes to global warming directly, through the emission of hydrofluorocarbons, and indirectly through the range of activities associated with the machines used in the cooling industry, electricity use and so on. Research has shown that without effective mitigating action, cooling may well account for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

With the demand for cooling also growing in Trinidad and Tobago, there is an urgent need to cut cooling related pollution and energy wastage.  The Planning Ministry worked closely with stakeholders in the A/C and refrigeration sector to not only develop the National Cooling Strategy, but to also develop National Guidelines for the cooling sector. 

As part of the National Development Strategy of Trinidad and Tobago: Vision 2030, the National Cooling Strategy supports the fulfillment of Theme V, Placing the Environment at the Centre of Social and Economic Development, while helping with the achievement of global Sustainable Development Goal 13, Climate Action.

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