Key Findings

The appliance sector is projected to significantly overshoot the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 targets, jeopardizing efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Meanwhile, billions of people still lack access to appliances that are increasingly vital as weather patterns shift.

But a clear pathway to planet- and people-friendly appliances exists. CLASP has identified the ten appliances that should form the basis of an unprecedented efficiency push: the Net Zero Heroes.

The Challenge
  • The appliance sector accounts for 39.3% of all energy-related CO2 emissions — roughly equal to the combined emissions of China, Europe, and Brazil in 2020. Tens of billions of appliances are in use today, and their numbers continue to grow.
  • In a business-as-usual scenario, the appliance sector will overshoot the IEA’s 2050 net zero target by at least 9 gigatons of CO2. Even if current benchmark appliance efficiency policies were adopted worldwide, the sector’s emissions would still exceed the IEA’s 2050 target by at least 7 gigatons.
  • Of the 3.6 billion people living in regions highly vulnerable to climate change, many lack basic appliances needed to adapt. At least 1.2 billion people do not have access to an air conditioner or fan, while at least 1.7 billion lack access to a refrigerator-freezer. Only 15% of the world’s population own electric cooking appliances, despite the substantial health and climate benefits they offer.
The Solution
  • Appliance efficiency offers a proven, cost-effective means of reducing emissions, improving resilience, and catalyzing sustainable development.
  • To realize the appliance sector’s mitigation and adaptation potential, governments and manufacturers must rapidly supercharge the efficiency of ten key appliances: the Net Zero Heroes. This group comprises LED lighting, air conditioners, comfort fans, refrigerator-freezers, heat pump space heating, heat pump water heaters, electric motors, electric cookers, televisions, and solar water pumps.
  • Examples of targets provided for each Net Zero Hero include: doubling the efficiency of new air conditioners and refrigerator-freezers by 2030; transitioning to electric cooking worldwide; and phasing out fluorescent and incandescent lighting by 2025.
  • By meeting these targets, the global community can avoid 9.2 gigatons of CO2 in 2050 relative to business as usual while reducing exposure to climate risks and improving quality of life for people around the world.


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