Three African nations are among those awarded grants from a new fund designed to deliver sustainable cooling to some of the hottest places.
The US$580,000 comes from the UK-based Ashden organization, which has focused on climate innovation for the last 20 years. In partnership with the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) philanthropy group, these latest Ashden funding awards are headed to seven organizations in five different countries.
In Ghana, PEG Africa is testing different sustainable refrigeration models to ensure cold storage is available to fish processors and other businesses in rural Ghana – a need that’s become a priority for vaccines too, as Africans meet the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
In Rwanda, MASS Design Group is doing research and communications with homeowners to explore cooler, more efficient alternatives to metal roofs.
And in Egypt, ECOnsult is promoting alternatives to air-conditioning, demonstrating how indigenous architectural principles can be integrated into housing design for low-income communities. The passive cooling techniques offer a way to reduce the energy-intensive impacts of cooling, which remains unavailable to roughly a billion people as demand increases.
Groups in Colombia and India also received funding. All of the awarded grants amount to between $40,000 and $100,000 each, with some recipients already leveraging those funds to attract more financing.
“We are thrilled by the energy, ambition and compassion of our Fair Cooling Fund cohort. Their ideas have huge potential to protect those at greatest risk from extreme heat, putting justice and fairness at the heart of the sustainable cooling challenge,” said Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb.
“We will support these pioneers in the months ahead, as they bring their bold plans to life.”