"Government plan urgently needed to address “the silent killer” of heatwaves" according to the report published today by the Environment Audit Committee into Extreme Heat and Sustainable Cooling. The report states that: 

"Effective joint working is essential if the impacts of heat are to be tackled in a coordinated, holistic and cost-effective way. The Climate Resilience Board set out in NAP3 is potentially an important development, as long as it includes representation from all relevant Government departments, agencies and other organisations, and meets sufficiently frequently. We recommend that the Government appoint a lead Minister for heat resilience to act as a focal point and drive forward coordinated action in this area. Ultimately, we consider that a comprehensive national heat resilience strategy is required to draw together all of the recommendations outlined in our report and ensure coordinated action on all fronts. We were pleased to see the UK sign up to the Global Cooling Pledge initiative at COP28 and, with it, the commitment to produce a national cooling action plan: if sufficiently ambitious, that plan could embody the heat resilience strategy which is clearly required."

The IOR Beyond Refrigeration and TICR project contributed to the call for evidence for this report in 2024 and IOR recommended the following:
1.      Clear understanding of the types of cooling and where they are used, particularly for essential services such as medical and food related, as well as occupied buildings.
2.      The co-ordination of policies for the adaptation of existing buildings that make up the majority of UK built environment, the improved the design standards for new buildings and the proactive maintenance of mechanical cooling in all buildings.
3.      Specific strategies that target action at either an individual business/location, local network, regional or national level.
4.      The need to recover, reuse and store waste heat and/or energy from cooling processes so that refrigeration is treated as flexible national asset, which supports demand side management policies.
5.      Guidance, awareness and training for those responsible for specifying, setting design standards and most importantly using and maintaining mechanical cooling systems in buildings.
6.      Better understanding of the impact of policy measures in these areas, how they interact and support sustainable cooling options.

Download the full report from the Committee from the lnk below