Developing countries will foot much of the incoming AC bill. That’s good for their body temps, but not for the planet’s: AC accounts for ~4% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions across energy use, refrigerant leakage, manufacturing, and transportation.
Private HVAC companies have raised ~$350m annually in recent years. Startups like Windmill and July are going the “Tesla of AC” route, promising sleek designs, energy efficiency, and easy installation.
In 2020, Chinese giant Midea’s American subsidiary debuted a popular U-shaped window unit that keeps the noisy parts fully outside. We say “popular” because there’s literally a fan club, and because it’s on track to sell 1m units this year.
A breath of fresh air
Last year, Bill Gates’ clean tech fund led a $20m investment in AC startup Blue Frontier, whose salt-based solution produces up to 87% less emissions than traditional systems.
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