Air conditioning and climate change: Start-ups trying to help

This June was the hottest in American history. Heat-melted 116-degree power cables in Portland, Oregon, broke previous temperature records. Seattle posted an all-time high of 108 degrees, as did the Canadian province of British Columbia, at a whopping 121 degrees.

As the world warms, more people are installing air conditioning. Global energy demand for refrigeration has more than tripled since 1990 and could more than double between now and 2040 without stricter efficiency standards.

But the air conditioning itself is one of the main contributor to global warming. Together, construction operations that include heating, cooling and lighting account for 28% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the entire global transportation sector.

But SkyCool, Gradient, and several other companies are working on the problem. They are trying to apply new technologies to the traditionally inflexible heating and cooling industry, fund upfront costs, communicate value to homeowners, and make sure everything is done fairly.

Watch the video to learn more.

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