Clean cold experts launch toolkit to help tackle pollution and climate change



Experts from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Birmingham are set to launch an innovative new online tool that will fast-track the spread of affordable sustainable energy innovation as well as tackle the serious problem of climate change.

Research shows, that without ambitious intervention the energy demand from cooling could increase six-fold by 2050, putting increasing pressure on global energy resources and how the world meets its demand for cooling will have a major impact on climate change and air pollution.

Now, 'clean cold' experts are working with the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and the UK Government to launch an innovative new online tool that will help accelerate the spread of affordable sustainable energy innovation and tackle climate change. 

Professor Toby Peters from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Birmingham joined Dr. Peter Warren, Head of International Cooling Finance and Policy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24), in Poland, to launch the Global Clean Cooling Landscape Assessment.

The unique toolkit gives an introduction to sustainable cooling and the challenges it poses. The online resource also includes information on how we can come together to act now before it is too late.

The toolkit was yesterday at the conference in Katowice as part of an event organised by BEIS on: 'Low Carbon Cooling: Scaling-Up Innovation, Finance and Deployment'.

The Global Clean Cooling Landscape Assessment is the result of extensive collaboration with industry, government, finance, NGO and academic experts across 12 countries.

Professor Peters, who led the research said: “Cooling is essential to our modern society and one of the biggest threats to our planet.  Ever-increasing demand for cooling will result in spiralling energy usage with a potentially disastrous environmental impact, if left unchecked.

“More than one billion people urgently need cooling to meet basic living requirements – access to food and essential vaccines, as well as the ability to find respite from temperatures beyond the limits for human survival. We must deliver clean and sustainable cooling; tackling climate change and toxic air pollution by adopting zero-emission technologies.

 “Ensuring cooling is affordable and accessible to all who need it is essential to achieving the UN's global sustainable development goals,” added Professor Peters. “There is a massive global market for sustainable cooling technology and the UK is very good at delivering innovation in this area.

“Our Clean Cooling Landscape Assessment shows where investment can create impact. It will help to break down barriers to deploying sustainable cooling and help investors to assess technologies and solutions.”

The Clean Cooling Landscape Assessment was supported through a grant from the Kigali Cooing Efficiency Program. Executive Director Dan Hamza-Goodacre said: “This assessment will help investors, foundations, and buyers and sellers of cooling across the globe better understand the technology and business model options that can urgently scale up efficient, clean cooling for the benefit of people and planet.”

As well as engaging with experts, creating the toolkit saw the team review academic, intra-governmental and industrial papers, as well as analysing datasets covering current and future cooling demands of 208 countries, as well as more than 75 different technology providers.

The UK chairs the Mission Innovation Secretariat, which aims to accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable. The UK also co-leads the Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings Mission Innovation Challenge alongside the UAE and the European Commission.

The Katowice event brings together leading organisations and countries to discuss how to scale-up innovation, finance and deployment of low-carbon cooling for all. Participants will discuss the role of international collaboration in access to sustainable cooling and identify where key policy, innovation and financing gaps exist.

Speakers include:

Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Government

Kate Hughes, Director of International Climate & Energy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK Government

Professor Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy, University of Birmingham

John Roome, Senior Director, World Bank

Dr. Peter Warren, Head of International Cooling Finance and Policy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Government

Mark Radka, Branch Chief, UN Environment

David Turk, Head of Strategic Initiatives Office, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Glenn Pearce-Oroz, Director of Policy and Programmes, SEforAll

Ian Tansley, Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Sure Chill

Iain Campbell, Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute above SEforAll

The University of Birmingham is a noted centre of clean cold expertise and its Birmingham Energy Institute recently appointed leading Indian sustainable cold chain expert Pawanexh Kohli as an honorary professor of 'Post-harvest logistics”.

The appointment follows an agreement signed this year by the University and the State Government of Haryana to develop centres of excellence for clean cold chains that will help to map a blueprint and delivery plan for sustainable cooling across the north Indian state.