A Cool World: 1st International Congress on Clean Cooling

G03 Alan Walters Building, University of Birmingham
Wednesday 18 April (08:30) - Thursday 19 April 2018 (17:00)
A Cool World: 1st International Congress on Clean Cooling

"Access to cooling” underpins the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In fact when you consider population and income growth and urbanisation, combined with global warming, cooling is increasingly seen as the largest threat we face.

  • The world is getting hotter

  • Effective cooling is essential to preserve food and medicine. It underpins industry and economic growth, is key to sustainable urbanisation as well as provides a ladder out of rural poverty. It increasingly makes much of the world bearable - or even safe - to live in.

But also

  • The growth of artificial cooling is having major environmental damage (global warming and pollution) from the contribution of chemicals used as refrigerants and the massive demand for fossil fuels.

  • Management of cooling is also key to sustainable resource (water, land, renewable energy) and system (transport, Cities) management.

In short, we must not solve a social crisis by creating environmental catastrophes; we need to ensure access to affordable cooling for all with minimum environmental impact and maximum efficient use of natural and waste resources.

Equally if we get this right, delivering clean, affordable cooling to all has the potential to advance three internationally agreed goals simultaneously: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment. In other words, address poverty, reduce food loss, improve health, raise energy efficiency, manage our natural resources, support sustainable cities and communities, phase out refrigerants and combat climate change concurrently.

At the University of Birmingham we have, during the past year, created a collaboration of UK and international experts and research partners to work together with industry and governments to define and accelerate solutions to deliver clean cooling. Not just the technologies but also consider the new business models, financing, policy and of course skills, capacity building and training which will be required. In short what we call “the cold economy”.

The Congress however is very much discussion-based with the focus being on participation from all delegates throughout the two days. This will be an international collaborative event and will feature key note speeches, panel discussions and debates, workshops for end-users, academics, NGOs, industry and investor groups to explore key issues in detail. There will also be the opportunity to exhibit technology, and also network to providing organisations and companies with the opportunity to share ideas, make connections and to develop their thinking around clean cold. A report and recommendations from the event will be published.

Our aim is to, as a community, further the thinking of how we can provide sustainable affordable cooling services to all; and how we can embed this approach quickly enough to avoid locking-in cooling emissions for years or decades; and of course identify the research, trade and commercial opportunities this offers to the UK. We have thriving and globally respected clean cooling research and SME communities able to collaborate internationally with the right support. And clean cooling is a fast-grown new global market worth many hundreds of billions of Pounds.

For more information, please download the congress programme [PDF].

We very much hope that you can attend and join the debate.

Register for A Cool World: 1st International Congress on Clean Congress (Eventbrite)

Clean Cooling - securing a sustainable society for all 

Access to cooling is essential for meeting social, health and economic goals; but unmanaged growth in cooling, especially in emerging and fast-growing markets, represents one of the largest threats to climate goals, natural resources and energy resilience.

Meeting the societal need in developing economies without catastrophic environmental impact requires the development of sustainable clean cooling energy systems. But go a step further and we can create a new approach to our energy needs that will enhance socio-economic development and deliver more efficient use of natural resources through clean, sustainable cooling.

Clean ColdWe don’t, however, simply need more efficient air-conditioners and fridges or transport refrigeration units, we need new integrated, needs driven, system-level approaches to cooling, understanding the size and location of the multiple thermal, waste and wrong-time energy resources available and the novel energy vectors, thermal stores and clean cooling technologies appropriate for the societal, climate, and infrastructure context.

But it also needs societal, business and financial models as well as aligned regulations that will allow “clean cooling” to be optimally integrated in a commercially sensible and technologically practical way, ensuring benefits can be equitable and widely realised. 


The University of Birmingham is a world-leader in clean cold expertise. Our scientists are working alongside experts around the globe to tackle the cooling challenge