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Cooling in the spotlight as Europe sets stricter carbon targets - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Last updated: 09-20-2020

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Cooling in the spotlight as Europe sets stricter carbon targets - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

European Cooling body EPEE has welcomed revised EU targets that aim to drastically curb greenhouse gas emissions. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this week that the commission would seek to curb greenhouse gas output among EU member states by at least 55 per cent by 2030 to concentrate efforts on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

President von der Leyen said that changing existing approaches to the way EU members “eat and heat” would be vital to eliminate carbon emissions among member states. She said this was particularly important considering buildings represented 40 per cent of European greenhouse gas emissions based partly on demand for cooling and heating functions. 

EPEE said the commitment to rethink heating and cooling was timely, with technologies already available to help begin the transition to lower carbon solutions.

The European Commission has set out the targets alongside its ‘Next Generation’ recovery plan that includes ambitions for drastic a drastic reduction in carbon emissions from buildings and businesses among a wide range of reforms.

EPEE director general Andrea Voigt said the broad investment pledge in the recovery plan was important to address some of the most pressing issues facing the EU that included realising more sustainable forms of heating and cooling.

She said, “It will be key for the broad deployment of these technologies – to achieve a sustainable cold chain for food and medicines, thermal comfort in our buildings and health and well-being for all”.

Ms Voigt said more sustainable approaches to both heating and cooling would serve to help reduce Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels by focusing on reducing and decarbonising energy use required in the sector.

The recovery of waste heat from cooling and more efficient electrification of HVACR solutions were examples of the innovation already being focused on by industry. EPEE added that sustainable cooling could be realised through the creation of a more flexible energy grid powered through renewable sources.

Ms von der Leyen said, “The Renovation Wave, the Energy System Integration Strategy and the review of climate and energy legislation such as the Renewable Energies Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive will provide major opportunities to pave the way towards sustainable heating and cooling.”

“In parallel, it will be important to keep up ambition not only by increasing the greenhouse gas emission target, but also by revising the targets for renewable energies and energy efficiency accordingly.”

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