Cooling is necessary for the quality of life of billions of people living across countries, whether in hot climates or in regions that are traditionally unprepared for ever more frequent heatwaves due to climate change. The energy needed for air conditioning is likely to triple by 2050, with an equivalent of ten new air conditioning units projected to be sold every second for the next 30 years (as per the IEA). This huge demand has the potential to drive up greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbate the very problem it is designed to alleviate. The Future of Cooling Programme’s vision is to understand and shape worldwide cooling solutions which place planetary stewardship and protecting people’s needs at their heart. These will inform and help prepare countries for extreme heat events by prioritising passive and less energy-intensive technology, while shifting the trajectory of cooling growth towards sustainability.
As we move towards one of the most important rounds of the UNFCCC Climate Negotiations, the Future of Cooling programme is hosting a series of online seminars leading up to COP26. The motivation behind the series is the need for high-profile and broad-reaching conversations on tackling cooling as a system – one that is integral to addressing the climate crisis. The webinars will engage in conversation with academics, industry and policy makers, and cover each of the themes that link to the programme’s framework on sustainable cooling: social interactions and cooling cultures; cooling technology and innovation; models for sustainable cold chains; circular cooling economy; infrastructure design for sustainable cooling; and finally, cooling for climate action.