Staying cool - without warming the planet

According to a recent analysis by the International Energy Agency, the power required to operate existing air conditioners is responsible for about 12 per cent of carbon emissions. Barring significant improvement, this share will triple by 2050.
According to a recent analysis by the International Energy Agency, the power required to operate existing air conditioners is responsible for about 12 per cent of carbon emissions. Barring significant improvement, this share will triple by 2050.ST FILE PHOTO

The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew once famously declared that air conditioning was "perhaps one of the signal inventions of history" as far as Singapore was concerned. "It changed the nature of civilisation by making development possible in the tropics," he said, because it helped increase efficiency as offices, factories and schools became cool instead of stifling.

It is not by chance that Singapore is called the "air-conditioned nation".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Staying cool - without warming the planet'. Subscribe