Giving Compass' Take:

• Heatwaves around the world impact marginalized communities, but flexible funding can help sustain cooling solutions and jumpstart initiatives to respond to this crisis.

• How do heatwaves affect marginalized populations? How can donor capital and resources help those in need during dangerous heatwaves? 

• Read about the impact of heatwaves on crops. 


This summer has brought ferocious heatwaves from India to Siberia and the U.S. Lethal temperatures are no surprise – heatwaves are now more common, more intense and longer-lasting, with 2020 likely to be the hottest year since records began.

This extreme heat carries a heavy cost for one billion people living without access to cooling, including outdoor workers and those living in overheating housing. Their health, their crops, and their vaccines are in danger. Some live in homes that regularly become too hot to step inside – while others risk illness and death simply to make a living, working under a beating sun in fields or on construction sites.

Conventional air conditioning is not the answer. It is unaffordable for the worst off, and the energy and gases it demands further accelerate the climate crisis. Instead, there is an urgent need for sustainable cooling – solutions that are accessible to marginalised people and do not further harm the planet.

The good news: these solutions already exist, from innovative building design to solar-powered refrigeration. The bad news: they are not scaling up fast enough. That’s where philanthropy comes in, with a unique role to play in speeding the spread of sustainable cooling.

In this difficult environment, even proven solutions can find it hard to grow. Philanthropic capital can play a key role by kickstarting progress – particularly if funders show patience and the flexibility that allows innovators to work with the most marginalised communities, those most in need of cooling. In this difficult environment, even proven solutions can find it hard to grow. Philanthropic capital can play a key role by kickstarting progress – particularly if funders show patience and the flexibility that allows innovators to work with the most marginalised communities, those most in need of cooling. What’s more, the multiple benefits of sustainable cooling can allow funders to reach many goals with a single intervention – such as lower carbon emissions, better health, improved incomes and reduced inequality.

Read the full article about how philanthropy can support sustainable cooling by Harriet Lamb at Alliance Magazine.