Barbados releases a national strategy for sustainable cooling

The Caribbean island of Barbados released its national cooling strategy in September 2022, as the country experiences an increase in demand for air conditioners.

On World Ozone Day, 16 September 2022, the Barbados National Cooling Strategy was released to the public following its national approval in May 2022. This national cooling plan contains a comprehensive overview of the RAC market and its key stakeholders, projections on its growth and drivers, as well as a mapping of strategies that can be implemented to reduce energy use and emissions from the sector. [1]


Barbados is located in the Caribbean archipelago and enjoys a tropical, oceanic climate with hot and humid conditions. Despite being a relatively small market on a global scale, it is important for Barbados to pursue the uptake of more energy-efficient, ozone- and climate-friendly cooling equipment. Indeed, as the population continues to grow and temperatures increase in the summer months, the country is experiencing an increase in demand for air conditioners. According to the market assessment presented in the Barbados National Cooling Strategy, the tourism sector accounts for 15% of the energy usage in the island. [2] Air conditioning and refrigeration account for over 61% of the total energy bill of hotels. In addition, domestic refrigerators are the most imported RAC equipment, with an estimated 10 thousand units per year.


The four most common refrigerants in the local RAC market are HCFC-22, R410A, R404A and R134a. [2] In 2020, refrigerant imports in Barbados were dominated by R410A (92.59 MT) followed by R134a (52.18 MT). The low GWP and non-ODS refrigerants R290 and HFC-32 are starting to penetrate the market.


The Barbados National Cooling Strategy is a collaborative effort between the National Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Management Programme of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification (MENB) and the Caribbean Cooling Initiative (CCOOL) led United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP) – United for Efficiency (U4E) team, with input from key stakeholders from governmental and non-governmental organisations.


Download the Barbados National Cooling Strategy



[1] Cool coalition. 

[2] Barbados National Cooling Strategy for the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector.