reenLeaders DC was pleased to host Dr. Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to discuss the innovative use of renewable energy and refrigeration technologies to address food security. This program explained why cleantech – specifically cryogenics and liquid air – is ideally suited to meet this challenge.
About a quarter of food wastage in the developing world could be eliminated with better refrigeration equipment. New approaches that integrate cleantech enable developing countries to leapfrog to a sustainable future – resulting in reduced food wastage, better business opportunities for farmers, and a solid foundation for poverty reduction.
In this program participants learned the scale of unsustainable food losses in developing economies; the development opportunity tackling food loss presents; the need for cold storage and the challenge to providing it; how a cleantech leapfrog can relieve hunger, improve health, and drive sustainable development.
Watch the clip below on the critical role of finance in achieving food security:
Cold is the Achilles heel of the world’s developing economies, where substantial amounts of harvested food such as fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and dairy go to waste because there is no suitable cold storage or refrigerated transport. The absence of this ‘cold chain’ contributes to the loss of up to 50% of fruit and vegetables after harvesting in India and sub-Saharan Africa. This both holds back development and worsens poverty and hunger.
By contrast, in Delhi, Beijing and the other megacities of rapidly developing nations, cold chains are booming in response to rising incomes, urban expansion and shifting dietary preferences from grain-based to animal-based products. But powered by highly polluting diesel engines, these contribute to fatal smogs and rising greenhouse gas emissions. This ‘business-as-usual’
approach to cooling damages the environment and human health and is unsustainable in the face of growing demand.
The defining challenge of the 21st Century will be meeting the food demands of an increasing human population undergoing substantial demographic change. Establishing reliable and affordable refrigerated storage and transport is vital to development, food security and meeting the challenges of 21st Century population growth and urbanization. Ensuring that these cold chains are sustainable and zero emission is critical if we are to avoid devastating environmental impacts, resource depletion and human misery. We need a sustainable, clean solution.
Download the full report: A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a More Food Secure World
Head of Energy and Environment, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, United Kingdom
Dr. Tim Fox is responsible for developing the Institution’s thinking on energy, environment and sustainability issues. His role also includes communicating this through thought-leadership reports, public speaking engagements, national and international press and broadcast media appearances and by providing input to government policy making both nationally and internationally. He was lead author on the Institution’s recent groundbreaking report “Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not” which galvanized world attention on the issue of food waste and food loss across the supply chain from field to stomach. Tim has a wide range of research and engineering practice experience gained in many industrial sectors and has worked for commercial enterprises, government agencies and educational institutions in the UK, Australia, Canada and The Netherlands. He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist as well as a Fellow of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Society of Arts.