Birmingham builds world’s first clean cold congress on India initiative

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...

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 – it was announced today.

Hosted by the University of Birmingham, the congress builds on the University’s work with partners to explore how ‘clean cold’ technology can provide people across the Indian sub-continent with fresher food whilst boosting incomes for farmers in India.

The congress will see experts 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.”


Working with the National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD), and the UK’s Science and Innovation Networks, the Birmingham Energy Institute brought together government, industry, technology and academic professionals from India and the UK earlier this year. The four-day initiative in India examined ways to deliver cold chains from farm to market whilst minimising carbon footprint. Currently as much as 40% of food can be lost in India due to lack of cold chains.



The event was supported by the UK’s Science and Innovation team and Department for International Trade. It saw experts visiting farms and logistics providers in Haryana, Punjab, before moving to the workshop in New Delhi. A number of British cooling companies took part in the workshop and study tour, including The Cartwright Group, Hubbard Products Limited, Dearman, J&E Hall international, Solar Polar Limited and Nextek Ltd.



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