60 to 70 per cent of the Maldives’ domestic energy demand comes from cooling, increasingly through air conditioners that use HFCs as a refrigerant. The Maldives first joined the Coalition’s HFC Initiative to explore alternative cooling systems to phase out HFCs and HCFCs entirely. Through the Coalition’s support, a feasibility study was carried out in the Maldives on the effectiveness of district cooling (cooling generated at a central source and distributed throughout a district), a much more efficient and sustainable method compared to traditional building-based cooling systems. The study concluded that substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are achievable by switching to district cooling.
Mr. Mauman Abdul Rasheed from the Maldives’ Ministry of Environment said the study allowed the country to “explore the potential of district cooling which would reduce energy use by 20 percent and promote low Global Warming Potential HFC alternative technology”, which would contribute to the “national goal of low greenhouse gas emissions and ozone-depleting substances phase-out.” On the Coalition side, the project helped showcase district cooling’s potential; environment impacts; and the overall policy, business models, and technical aspects needed to facilitate the adoption of district cooling.
2015 - The partnership expands to national planning
From this partnership on HFC reduction, other opportunities to collaborate were seized. A persistent lack of air pollution data, limited technical capacity, and no national air pollution strategy meant that the Maldives found it difficult to address its growing air pollution problem. Thus, while the Maldives had existing plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there no emissions inventories had been developed for air pollutants like black carbon, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and ammonia. Expanding cooperation to the CCAC’s National Planning Initiative helped the country include air pollution in the national planning process.
2015-2017 - The case for integrated air pollution and climate action
As part of the National Planning process, the CCAC trained the Maldives in the use of the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) Integrated Benefits Calculator (IBC) software to start compiling air emissions inventories, generate mitigation scenarios, and estimate benefits of action. The objective was to incorporate this process within the Ministry team involved in developing the Biennial Update Report (BUR), so that the air pollutant inventory would be created in harmony with the GHG inventory. This would also make the process of updating and maintaining the air pollutant inventory more sustainable and effective. Ultimately, a Maldives-specific dataset, with a complete emissions inventory for the base year (2010), and baseline scenario to estimate emissions of SLCPs and air pollutants was developed to accommodate the necessary emission projections and mitigation scenarios.