India got hotter by a degree Celsius over the last century, with the fastest rise in temperature observed in the last two decades. Studies forecast a many-fold increase in the occurrence of extreme heat waves in the future. India also faces a dual challenge, on the one hand, it has to ensure that people at risk get affordable and adequate access to means that provide relief from heat and on the other it has to limit the harm caused by the resultant energy and refrigerants used in mechanised cooling equipment and processes.
To address this challenge, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) recently released a draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). The Plan estimates an eight-fold increase in the demand for cooling by 2037-38 as compared to 2017-18.It also provides a list of short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations to reduce this cooling demand by 20-25 per cent until 2037-38.
Here is an opinion piece by Prayas (Energy Group) which discusses certain lacunae of the draft cooling action plan, that appeared in The Hindu BusinessLine of 9th October 2018.