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The Sukhothai Bangkok

13/3 South Sathorn Road

Bangkok 10120


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Cooling is key to human health and prosperity, and is increasingly important as the world experiences rapid urbanisation, economic growth and rising temperatures.

But the technology underpinning cooling poses an urgent environmental threat. Current cooling systems use potent greenhouse and consume large amounts of energy, usually derived from fossil fuels, therefore driving climate change. Growing demand for air conditioning alone in the world’s emerging economies will drive a 64 per cent increase in household energy use, and produce 23.1 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2040.

At the same time, the International Energy Agency estimates that improving energy efficiency could provide almost 40 per cent of the emissions reductions needed to stay within the 2-degree Celsius ceiling for staving off the worst effects of climate change.

To slash the use of high GWP refrigerant gases and curb energy consumption, the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol was launched in 2016, legally binding countries that had signed the original treaty to a timetable to replace climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons with sustainable alternatives.

The success of the Kigali Amendment could prevent up to 0.5 degree Celsius of warming from the phase down of HFCs. Increasing the energy efficiency of cooling could double the climate benefits. The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), funded by 18 foundations and individuals, aims to help realise this huge climate prize. K-CEP advocates energy-efficient, sustainable cooling by focusing on four areas—increasing energy efficiency, engaging governments for better policies, creating pathways to financing, and providing access to cooling for all.

This January, the Asean Cooling Summit in Bangkok will convene regional leaders to examine the topic of cooling in the context of sustainable development and identify solutions.

What are the opportunities for Asean countries in achieving more energy-efficient cooling? How can all sectors work together to prevent up to 1 degree Celsius of temperature rise? How will new technologies in cooling shape how we build cities?

We invite you to join in the conversation at the Asean Cooling Summit, hosted by K-CEP in partnership with Eco-Business and the United Nations Environment Programme.


8.30am: Registration and networking

9.00am: Opening remarks by emcee
Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business

Welcome remarks
Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Executive Director, K-CEP

9.15am: Keynote address
Mark Radka, Branch Chief, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, UN Environment

9.30am: Keynote presentations
Asawin Asawutmangkul, Engineer, Senior Professional Level, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency

Philipp Pischke, Project Technical Adviser,The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, GIZ Office Bangkok

10.00am: Whitepaper presentation: Freezing in the tropics: Asean’s air-con conundrum
Tim Hill, Research Director, Eco-Business

10.20am: Q&A session

10.40am: Coffee break

11.00am: Panel discussion

Cooling the Asian sunbelt
Moderated by Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business

The air-conditioner is the greatest invention of the 20th century, said Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of Southeast Asia’s “air-conditioned nation”.

Higher average temperatures and a rising middle class in Asean countries will drive global demand for 700 million more air conditioning units by 2030, and another 1.6 billion by 2050. At the same time, phasing out harmful refrigerants could prevent the addition of 89.7 gigatonnes of carbon emissions in the next 30 years—not counting commitments under the Kigali Amendment.

As Southeast Asia’s developing nations seek to lift their people into the middle class, putting in place sustainable cooling systems has implications for healthcare, energy, and food security. Can Asean seize this opportunity to lay down long-term, climate-friendly infrastructure?

Key questions:

  • What is the potential of cooling for sustainable development?
  • What kind of impact does a greener cooling system have for a developing country’s grid, environment, or jobs?
  • What are the implications from the case study of Indonesia for its neighbours in the region?
  • What are the obstacles—regulatory, financial or technological—to phasing out poor cooling technologies and installing energy-efficient alternatives?
  • How can we overcome these challenges in time to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Kigali Amendment?


  • Anshu Kumar, Technical Advisor, MPU/Chemicals, UN Development Programme
  • Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy, University of Birmingham
  • Jimmy Khoo, Senior Vice President, Singapore Power; Managing Director, Singapore District Cooling

11.50am: Q&A

12.00pm: Lunch

1.30pm: Breakout sessions — Format

1.40pm: Breakout sessions

Track 1: The business of cooling
Leader: Anh-Hà de Foucauld, Technical Director, Engie

  • What are the game-changing and energy-efficient alternative technologies for cooling and how can they be scaled up in the market?
  • How can the private sector help to accelerating the phase-out of inefficient cooling? Is there a business case for it?
  • What are the difficulties that companies face in doing so?
  • What are immediate steps that the private sector can take towards this goal?

Track 2: Policymaking for cooling
Leader: Mushtaq Memon, Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency, UN Environment

  • What is the role of government and other policy-making, standard-setting bodies when it comes to regulating the use of cooling?
  • What are best case studies from around the world of laws or policies that could be replicated in Asean?
  • What are some of the obstacles for policymakers in Southeast Asia when it comes to energy efficiency?
  • Is the Kigali Amendment enough to spur international action on cooling, or do we need more?

Track 3: What cooling means to Asean
Leader: Sommai Phon-Amnuaisuk, Vice President, Asia-Pacific, International Institute of Energy Conservation

  • What are the public misconceptions surrounding cooling in Asean?
  • How can we educate society on the importance of this technology?
  • What are the social or cultural barriers to better cooling?
  • In the area of cooling, what is one habit the average citizen can change?

Track 4: Financing cooling
Leader: Shilpa Patel, Director, Mission Investing, ClimateWorks and Head of Finance Window, K-CEP

  • How can we fund the switch to greener cooling? How can we finance this transition?
  • Should governments be expected to subsidise research into cooling technologies?
  • As refrigerators and air conditioning systems are considered big purchases for households, what kind of financial support or incentive does society need to transit to more sustainable systems?
  • What is the role of banks in financing a switch to a cooler and more sustainable economy?

3.00pm: Coffee break

3.30pm: Panel discussion

Building a cleaner, cooler Asean
Moderated by Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business

One representative from each track joins the moderator on stage to share the best ideas to come from their session. These findings and ideas will feed into the subsequent panel discussion.

How can we build partnerships and solutions for sustainable development in the region? Will Asean member nations meet their commitments to reduce their energy intensity levels 20 per cent, by 2020?

Key questions:

  • How can countries maximise the benefits of cooling without placing a strain on the environment and energy supply in a hotter world?
  • How can we forge the partnerships necessary to exchange knowledge and move the agenda forward?


  • Anh-Hà de Foucauld, Technical Director, Engie
  • Mushtaq Memon, Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency, UN Environment
  • Sommai Phon-Amnuaisuk, Vice President, Asia-Pacific , International Institute of Energy Conservation
  • Shilpa Patel, Director, Mission Investing, ClimateWorks and Head of Finance Window, K-CEP

4.45pm: Q&A

5.00pm: Closing remarks

5.30pm: Networking drinks

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The Sukhothai Bangkok

13/3 South Sathorn Road

Bangkok 10120


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