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DC and Certainty

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup about a decade away, Qatar, at long last, is surely in the cusp of a spurt in construction growth

| | Dec 23, 2012 | 12:22 pm
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B Surendar

B Surendar

One thing became clear while trying to book a hotel room to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November and December in Doha – there was an acute shortage of hotel rooms in the peninsula. Days later, Pradeep Saxena, who heads the TransGulf operations in Qatar, brought up the topic during an interview – that Qatar needed to ramp up its hospitality infrastructure. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup about a decade away, Qatar, at long last, is surely in the cusp of a spurt in construction growth, and this can only mean one thing for the HVAC industry – a looming opportunity for those with a frontier spirit.

The Qatar visit was interesting, because it opened up an opportunity to meet Dr Axel Michaelowa, who advises several government bodies on CDM. The interview with him was to explore how district cooling and other cooling approaches could benefit from the momentum generated by climate change mitigation activity and the resultant tangible benefits in the form of Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) for those seeking to monetise their sustainability efforts. Michaelowa spoke of opportunities for district cooling, owing to the fact that the critical mass needed to make the attainment a financially feasible proposition was there with district cooling projects.

This has to be exciting news for the district cooling industry in many ways. (Do read the interview with Michaelowa in the CHILL supplement that comes to you with this issue.) In the coming months, we hope to further explore the world of CERs.

Broadly speaking, the UN Convention in Doha was of interest also because HFCs formed one of the issues for discussion. Specifically, delegates met to discuss proposals to institute a global phase-down of the production and consumption of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and to increase the mitigation goals of countries, considering that whatever has been done is clearly not enough. As Natasha Hurley, the Global Environment Campaigner with London-based Environmental Investigation Agency, put it before the Doha meeting, “There is a unique opportunity to kick-start a process that will prevent emissions of 2.2 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent (Gt CO2e) by 2020 and almost 100 Gt CO2e by 2050.”

Do look forward to more on this subject in the next issue. Climate change is for real, and is knocking on our shores. As Sven Harmeling, Team Leader at International Climate Policy, Germanwatch said in November, the rising sea levels pose potential threats to low-lying coastal zones in the region. The onus is, thus, on the industry to take the issue by the cudgels and to translate all the talk at conferences into realisable action.

– B Surendar


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