The Chilling Prospects series tracks immediate vulnerability to a lack of access to cooling, identifying populations at risk whose lack of access threatens their immediate health and safety. It models risk on the basis of a spectrum of access to cooling that crosses human safety and comfort, food and nutrition security and agriculture, and health services for four populations: the rural poor, the urban poor, the lower-middle income and the middle income.
Across 54 high-impact countries, 1.02 billion people among the rural and urban poor remain at high risk in 2020. This includes 318 million people living in poor rural areas and 699 million living in poor urban areas. A further 2.2 billion lower-middle income people pose a different kind of risk: limited purchasing choices mean they are likely to favour cooling devices that are typically inefficient and could cause a dramatic rise in energy demand and associated emissions. In Africa, the rural poor population continues to grow, to 204 million in 2020, whereas in Asia, the number of urban poor continues to grow, up to 484 million people in 2020.
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