Sickening, dizzying heat rots their food and spoils their medicines. It strikes in fields and factories, homes and hospitals. And as global temperatures climb, so the threat grows. The worst off are those in greatest danger.
The answer is fair cooling – affordable, accessible cooling solutions that do not worsen the climate crisis, and are developed with the communities at greatest risk. Around the globe innovators are developing solar-powered refrigeration, using trees and streams to lower temperatures in crowded cities, and making better use of cool materials and ventilation when designing buildings.
Alternatives such as air conditioning are out of reach for many, and create emissions that fuel the climate emergency. Fair cooling is the future – but it isn’t spreading fast enough. That’s why Ashden, Clean Cooling Collaborative (formerly K-CEP) and ClimateWorks Foundation launched the Fair Cooling Fund, an ambitious project scaling up the impact of frontline fair cooling solutions.
From 2020 to 2022 we helped seven organisations from the worlds of business and academia co-develop new initiatives that to widen access to cooling, and gave them grants to turn their plans into reality. While their work stretches across Asia, Africa and Latin America, they are united by an ambition to deliver powerful social impact and address inequality.
The Fair Cooling Fund includes a special focus on boosting sustainable, affordable solutions to heat stress in low-income housing. See more about Cooler Homes, Stronger Communities.
The Fair Cooling Fund included a $50,000 grant to MASS Design, to develop new sustainable housing solutions in collaboration with a DIY homebuilder in Kigali, Rwanda – and to share knowledge of these solutions with the wider community. While research and piloting work took place in 2021, outside factors have significantly delayed many of the organisation’s planned activities. However, MASS is committing internal funds to continue this exciting project after the close of the Fair Cooling Fund.
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As I arrived in India last week, the temperature gauge in some villages was pushing past a record-breaking 50 degrees. That is a dangerous heatwave.
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We are running our first ever Cooling by Nature Award supported by K-CEP and in partnership with SEforALL
City cooling innovators must get more support
Summer. A time for sunshine and outdoor activities. But what happens when the summer sun gets out of control and the heat becomes unbearable?
For more information about the fund, contact FairCoolingFund@Ashden.org.
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