the report makes five recommendations for governments and companies

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Heat waves are becoming more frequent and more intense, posing a challenge to large cities.
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One message from Phys.org on the basis of an opinion drawn up by experts from hlUniversity of Birmingham and published as world leaders, businesses, scientists and environmental agencies gather in Dubai to kick off COP 28, calls for global refrigeration and the cold chain. considered critical infrastructure as the planet continues to warm.

The report highlighted the need to formally designate cooling infrastructure systems as critical infrastructure essential to a climate adaptation strategy in a rapidly warming world.

This project is led by the Center for Sustainable Refrigeration and the African Center of Excellence for Sustainable Refrigeration and Cold Chain (ACES) in Kigaliin Rwanda. It outlines the benefits this would bring and suggests important next steps that must now be taken towards this vital goal.

In recent years, we have seen record summer temperatures of 40°C and 50°C, measured in places where this would have been unimaginable before.“, he declared Toby Peters one of the co-authors of the report and a professor of cold economics. University of Birmingham AND Heriot-Watt University.

The importance of cooling in the face of intense heat waves recorded across the planet

Providing coolness is not a choice or a luxury in life. It is an essential service for society and the economy to function well, to adapt, to be resilient and healthy, and to enable access to the essentials of life.. The latter includes food, health and safe environments in which to live, work, learn and playhe declared Peters.

Young woman in front of a conventional fan lying on the floor
In the face of prolonged heat waves, cooling systems are a global emergency.

As the world continues to warm, we need to adapt to increasing seasonal ambient temperatures as well as more frequent, longer and more intense heat waves, energy resources, equipment, goods, people, business models and financial and other components that make up the infrastructure systems, which provide a critical cooling service will be at the center of adaptation and resilience strategies“, he added Peters.

Although refrigeration is vital to the productivity, prosperity and economic well-being of any nation, refrigeration does not typically appear on lists of critical national infrastructure, Peters said.

In this way the challenge is that refrigeration already accounts for more than 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions and it is estimated that these figures could double by 2030. In addition, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. emissions worldwide due to increasing demand for our cooling and space cooling.

5 recommendations for governments, infrastructure planners and academia

The centrality of refrigeration to the economic functioning of society, as well as its impact on energy, requires it to be a separate cross-sector within the set of economic infrastructures considered by governments, especially in relation to future climate change and the impact of rising temperaturessaid the doctor Leyla Sayin, deputy director of the Center for Sustainable Cooling.

Teamwork meeting at the table
Teamwork requires holistic thinking to deliver comprehensive solutions.

To improve adaptability to global warming, the report makes 5 key recommendations:

  1. National governments and international administrative bodies around the world should recognize that refrigeration is a critical service and designate the infrastructure that provides it as critical infrastructure.
  2. National governments should develop integrated and prepared strategies for future adaptation to the thermal impacts of climate change, with the provision of sustainable cooling infrastructure at its core, including policies based on comprehensive impact assessments on food, health, digital industry and economic security for its citizens.
  3. Governments, planners, infrastructure developers and academia should adopt a holistic and systemic approach plan, build, operate, maintain, adapt and decommission cooling infrastructure.
  4. Governments, academia, infrastructure planners and civil society it must recognize that most of the energy services needed to support modern society are thermal, and therefore a thermal thinking approach is needed in the decision-making, research and design of energy systems around the world.
  5. Governments need to quantify the wider social impact of the cold chain understand their role as stakeholders and justify active investment in the development of cold chain and refrigeration as part of the country’s critical infrastructure.

Adopting a comprehensive, holistic and high-level systemic approach is a prerequisite for achieving optimized results in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of such a facility to ensure its sustainability, he said. Sayin.

Much work now needs to be done in the global cold chain and refrigeration infrastructure to deal with the myriad challenges of living in a world above 50°C. We simply don’t have time to put it off, as we must realize. treating cooling as a critical factor is a matter of survival” concluded the professor Peters.

News reference:

Formless “Hot Reality: Life in a +50°C World” (2023).



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