Access to Cooling initiatives

There are many new and exciting initiatives on Access to Cooling, as well as organizations dedicated to finding and deploying solutions. Check back regularly for updates on new initiatives.


The Global Cooling Prize, Rocky Mountain Institute

The Global Cooling Prize is rallying a global coalition of leaders to solve the critical climate threat that comes from growing demand for residential air conditioning. By harnessing the power of innovation, we can provide cooling solutions that enhance people’s lives without contributing to runaway climate change.

How? This ground-breaking competition is designed to incentivize the development of a residential cooling solution that will have at least 5 times less climate impact than today’s standard refrigeration and air conditioning units. 

This technology could prevent up to 100 gigatons (GT) of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2050. It will also put the world on a pathway to mitigate up to 0.5˚C of global warming by 2100, all while enhancing living standards for people in developing countries around the globe.

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge, NESTA, the Global Cool Cities Alliance

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge is a USD 2 million global competition to rapidly scale up the deployment of highly solar-reflective “cool” roofs in developing countries suffering heat stress and lacking widespread access to cooling services. 

The Challenge will award USD 100,000 grants to up to ten teams this year to deploy solar reflective coating and/or materials in an eligible country between August 2019 and December 2020. From there, USD 1 million will be awarded in 2021 to the team that has demonstrated the best sustainable and transferable model for the rapid deployment of cool roofs in an eligible country and that best meets the judging criteria. 

The Cooling by Nature Award, Ashden

The Cooling by Nature Award 2019, supported by K-CEP and in partnership with Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), has chosen to spotlight urban cooling solutions. As global temperatures rise, keeping cool is becoming an increasingly urgent health issue, with cities particularly at risk of trapping heat and becoming 'urban heat islands'. This puts literally billions of people in danger of heat-stress.

Clever city planning can play a crucial role in providing cooling solutions, like having light surfaces instead of dark, green roofs and shading in public areas, as well as higher standards of building design. There is a great deal of innovation happening across all these areas, but much more investment is needed to take these solutions to scale. 

2019 Global LEAP Awards - Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition

Global LEAP Awards is administering a competition for highly energy-efficient, durable, off- and weak-grid appropriate refrigerators. Refrigerators are one of the most challenging off-grid appliances to design and develop to be both energy efficient and cost-effective. Therefore, the global market remains in the early stages of development, often leaving consumers with expensive, inefficient, and faulty products. USD 2 million in results-based financing incentives are available to winners and finalists to promote product uptake in select countries. The winners and finalists are also showcased in the Global LEAP Awards Buyer’s Guide, a procurement tool for off-grid solar companies and distributors that also provides general market intelligence to other interested stakeholders.



The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program

The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is a philanthropic program set up to support the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. Under the amendment, 197 countries committed to cut the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning — by more than 80% over the next 30 years. This effort has the potential to avoid up to 0.5° C of global warming by the end of the century. K-CEP focuses on the energy efficiency of cooling to increase and accelerate the climate and development benefits of the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs.

The GCCA (Global Cool Cities Alliance)

The GCCA approach is to cultivate partnerships with cities and other stakeholders to give them the tools and support they need to identify successful policies and programs, adapt them for each city’s unique characteristics, and connect with experts and partners to help with implementation. GCCA works with companies and governments to help grow new markets for technologies and materials. It also links the diverse world of experts and researchers who study urban heat islands and cool materials

The GCI (Green Cooling Initiative) 

The aim of GCI is to establish a global Green Cooling Network, which will accelerate the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors to and within developing countries. This website is a knowledge base for green cooling technologies, data emission scenarios and a platform for the Green Cooling Initiative Network. Decision makers, technology suppliers and importers, research institutes, NGOs as well as government institutions are all invited to join.