December 2, 2022

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ACES advances Africa cold chain progress through international partnership

The African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) has announced at COP 27 that it will work with global cold chain provider Carrier to help advance cooling development and training in Africa.

Carrier will collaborate in the development of the ACES cold-chain centre in Kigali, Rwanda – providing capacity building for farmers and refrigeration technicians, skills development for students and supply chain professionals, and demonstration of best-in-class sustainable cooling technology.  

Carrier is a leading global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable and intelligent building and cold chain solutions.  ACES’ partnership will support Carrier’s focus on expanding the cold chain – improving health outcomes and reducing hunger, food insecurity and carbon emissions.

More than 475 million tons of the world’s food can be saved annually with effective refrigeration, and more than 50% of all perishable food loss could be avoided by using cold chain technology.

The University of Birmingham plays a leading role in ACES, which is developed with the Governments of UK and Rwanda and UN Environment Programme at the University of Rwanda.

Toby Peters, Centre for Sustainable Cooling Director and Professor of Cold Economy, University of Birmingham and Heriot-Watt University commented: “Turning food loss into nutritionally available food is essential for Africa’s sustainable development, as well as building the food systems that are used to feed people in times of uncertainty. Global leaders have recently agreed that the only way to overcome food insecurity is by working together to create innovative partnerships within the global community.”

Additionally, progress continues on the collaboration between Carrier, WFP and other leading companies to build a world-class Transport Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, aimed at enhancing transport and logistics capacities across West Africa. The centres are expected to inject new expertise into local transport markets, equipping them to deliver goods more efficiently throughout their respective regions.

Tim White, President, Refrigeration, Carrier, commented: “We’re pleased to partner with ACES and WFP to make a meaningful difference across Africa, as the potential benefits of these collective efforts are far reaching and can positively impact the cold chain from farmers and manufacturers to consumers with wide-reaching benefits.”

The University of Birmingham and the Indian State of Haryana recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Haryana Centre of Excellence on crop post-harvest management and sustainable cold chain.

The agreement builds on ACES and will conduct state-of-the-art applied research and provide capacity building and training, an innovation and business hub and technology testing/demonstration centre. It will connect experts, investors, agri-food business, farmer cooperatives, and energy or logistics providers to deliver sustainable cooling. It also follows an MoU signed earlier this year with the Indian State of Telangana for a Telangana Centre of Excellence.  The UK and UN Environment technical assistance programme is funded by DEFRA.

ACES is being highlighted at  COP27 through a series of side-events. Professor Peters will be presenting at the Clean Heating and Cooling Forum on Monday, 14 November. The event will explore policy, technology, and models needed across both the sustainable cooling and clean heat challenges.

As outgoing COP 26 President, the Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, said when he visited ACES during CHOGM: “ACES is a demonstration of how we can work together, to help tackle rising emissions and keep alive the goal of limiting average global temperature rises. Cooling and refrigeration are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, especially in developing countries. But this challenge gives us the opportunity to develop innovative, energy efficient technologies of the future.”

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