Support for sustainable cooling pioneers

Fair Cooling Fund will tackle extreme heat threat

Craig Burnett


In our warming world, one billion people live without access to sustainable cooling. Rising temperatures put their health at risk, threaten their crops and can make sleeping and studying almost impossible.

Many can’t afford air conditioning – and even if they could, its use would further worsen the climate crisis. There is an urgent need for affordable, sustainable cooling solutions.

That’s why Ashden and K-CEP have launched the Fair Cooling Fund – a $1 million project helping frontline innovators pilot or expand cooling services for those most vulnerable to extreme heat.

These organisations taking part are receiving technical support and funding of up to $100,000, as part of a collaborative process designed to spark fresh and bold thinking on this crucial issue.

Meet our sustainable cooling pioneers

India’s SMV Green Solutions helps people in four cities win dignity and decent pay as rickshaw drivers. This includes helping women break through the significant barriers that stop them taking on the job. SMV aims to pilot cooling measures, such as heat-reducing roofs, in female drivers’ homes and vehicles.

Ecozen’s solar-powered cold rooms help smallholder farmers store their products efficiently, leading to less waste and greater returns. Backed by the fund, Ecozen is developing a scaled-down version of their product – aiming to make cooling affordable for even more farmers. The new product may also have the potential to store vaccines.

CBalance promote sustainable cooling as a feature of building design – taking on ‘air-conditioning-as-standard’ thinking. Through the fund, they aim to work with women in urban slums to pilot a range of cooling techniques – from rooftop vegetation to measures making use of recycled food packaging.

PEG Africa sell energy products such as solar home systems across Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Mali, with fair finance options that give even poorer customers the chance to buy. Now PEG is piloting the loan of solar fridges and freezers to buyers hoping to boost their earning power – from restaurants to fish traders.

Global architecture collective MASS Design have a long record of promoting sustainable design in Rwanda. Through the fund they want to examine the cooling potential of local, sustainable materials and techniques – then use this knowledge to help create better buildings across the country.

Medellin’s Green Corridors project has radically lowered temperatures by planting vegetation throughout the city. Backed by the Fair Cooling Fund, the team behind the initiative are exploring how to spread their successful approach to cities across Colombia.

India’s Promethean Power Systems offer sustainable milk chillers to small-scale dairy farmers. This affordable solution eliminates polluting diesel generators and offers producers greater buying power. Through the fund, Promethean aim to establish 20 rural refrigeration hubs, preserving and chill 6,000 litres of milk a day – with a focus on supporting female farmers.

Egyptian architecture firm ECOnsult is developing a digital platform that will make is easier to design cooler, sustainable housing. The project aims to help governments and large construction companies create higher quality affordable housing, ensuring a cooler future for all.

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