hollow bricks

Keeping cool without costing the earth

By Rapid Transition Alliance Staff, Rapid Transition Alliance

In May 2022 temperatures in India and Pakistan reached 50°C. Heat this fierce causes chaos to infrastructure, water security and also triggers irreversible cell damage within the human body. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reported that this extreme event, which plunged nearly a billion people into heat stress, was made 30 times more likely due to climate change. And with extreme heat comes the need to keep cool. As the heat waves in India and Pakistan showed, the response for those that can afford it, is to buy an air conditioner (AC). Some 24% of households in India now have air conditioning, which needs electricity to run and, as an ironic result, India’s coal production surged by 29% in April to meet forecast demand. Increasing coal use in response to extreme heat is a tragic feedback – especially as India has some of the world’s cheapest solar energy, which could match daytime cooling demand but would struggle at...