Artificial cooling could account for 13 per cent of the planet’s carbon emissions by 2030 if efficiency aims go unrealised, according to Professor Toby Peters of the University of Birmingham
Addressing fears about a lack of adequate and sustainable cold storage space and refrigerated transport within the global food supply chain will be among key focuses of the inaugural international ‘clean cold’ congress next month.
The University of Birmingham will be hosting the event from April 18 to 19 with the aim of trying to tackle post-harvest food loss and ensure more sustainable approaches across the supply chain. Concerns over the environmental impact of existing cooling systems will also be addressed.
More than 100 experts and decision makers working in cooling, energy efficiency and the political sector will be attending the two-day event to better address the changing nature of artificial cooling demand around the world. They are expected to look at both the challenges and possible opportunities to overhaul systems with greener solutions based on existing and upcoming projects and approaches.
According to congress organisers, 200m tonnes of food is estimated to be wasted globally due to cooling limitations in the supply chain. This post-harvest loss is claimed to equate to a land area almost twice the size of Australia and also is linked to contributing 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Professor Toby Peters of the University of Birmingham has argued that a growing reliance on artificial cooling around the world could be responsible for 13 per cent of the planet’s carbon emissions by 2030 if unchanged, creating huge political and logistical challenges.
He said, “This is an urgent crisis. We need to work together to progress how we provide sustainable affordable cooling services to all. Not just technologies but also new business models, policy, skills, capacity building and training which will be required.
“At this first-ever ‘clean cold’ congress, we want to hear about clean cooling initiatives, recognise progress, share best practice and work together to find answers to the big challenges of meeting cooling sustainably.”
Pawanexh Kohli, chief executive at the National Centre for Cold-chain Development in India and a key note speaker at the congress, said that the issue of feeding the planet was not just the concern of farmers.
Mr Kohli said, “Refrigerated logistics is critical to managing our food resources, expanding market frontiers and reducing food loss.”
“At the same time, we also need to reduce the impact of our logistics on our environment, and that requires international collaboration. We need innovation today, to develop the sustainable cold chain of tomorrow.”