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The world’s first international congress dedicated to clean cold will see academic experts join leaders from industry and government to map a global response to ever-increasing global demands for cooling.

Hosted by the University of Birmingham, experts will gather in spring 2018 to help create a joined-up global community that will figure out how to partner environmental policy with science to combat climate change driven by cooling.

The congress was announced by Professor Toby Peters, from the University of Birmingham, speaking at the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) ‘Cooling for All’ workshop, during the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Professor Peters, from the Birmingham Energy Institute, said: “Cooling solutions are essential for everyday life and pose a huge problem for fast-growing economies around the globe. Without cooling, supplies of food, medicine and even data break down, whilst life would be scarcely tolerable in many parts of the world without air conditioning.

“Our challenge is how to deliver cooling cleanly and sustainably, so we can feed growing populations without causing environmental or societal damage. This ground-breaking international conference will help us build the expert networks and road map to reach that goal.”

The ‘Cool World’ conference will be the first international congress dedicated to clean cold. Participants will address a wide range of issues, including:

  • Future role of cooling - where demand will come from and what will drive it;
  • Economic, social and health opportunities of cold for the developing world; 
  • Social, environmental and economic risks of not addressing demand or using existing, predominantly fossil fuelled, technologies;
  • Alternative and emerging clean cold technologies; and
  • Economic opportunity created by a new ‘cold economy’.

The Birmingham congress will support the SEforALL ‘Cooling for All’ initiative, launched in July, to identify the challenges and opportunities of providing access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions for all. The initiative is supported by the UN, World Health Organisation (WHO), industry experts and Governments.

The conference in Birmingham will comprise of a main conference and associated international workshops, possibly located in South-east Asia or the Middle East. 

Participants are expected to represent a wide range of market, industry, academia and policy makers, including:

  • Representatives of national and international governments;
  • Industry leaders from multi-national corporations and innovative SMEs;
  • Representatives of NGOs, think tanks and learned societies;
  • Academics and leading journalists / commentators; and
  • Small business owners and farmers from emerging markets.

Speaking on the announcement of the new Cooling for All initiative earlier in the year, Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, said: “As the world grows dangerously warm, access to cooling will become the difference between life and death in some parts of the world that suffer from extreme heat.

“A clean energy transition is already underway globally that can provide affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. We must now incorporate cooling for all needs within this transition, while keeping us on track to reach our global climate and energy goals.”

For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The Birmingham Energy Institute launched its research project in India earlier this year. This helps develop strategies to resolve the cooling dilemma - providing clean cold through the use of novel low-carbon and zero-emission technologies and new policy approaches. Its launch report highlights how ‘clean cold’ is central to achieving almost all of the UN’s 17 global Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 can be found here 
  • Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) works with leaders to broker partnerships and unlock finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, as a contribution to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all. SEforALL exists to reduce the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone on the planet.
  • The Cooling for All initiative focuses on how we embed growing cooling demands that can reach everyone within a clean energy transition. It connects three internationally agreed goals for the first time: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment.