COP 26: what it takes to tackle climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, with impacts global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Taking prompt and coordinated action at the international level is key to ensure this impending issue can be properly addressed.

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, with impacts global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Taking prompt and coordinated action at the international level is key to ensure this impending issue can be properly addressed. Over the years, the home appliance industry has been working to deliver increasingly higher efficiency standards, fostering circularity and ultimately enabling the energy transition.

“Achieving the needed ambitions set by the UN to tackle climate change is crucial for Europe and the whole world,” commented Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General, shedding light on some key recommendations from the industry to enable the imperative acceleration of greenhouse gas emission reductions in the next decade. While the adopted package of proposals certainly targets decarbonisation, it is crucial to ensure citizens’ welfare is preserved at all stages. To this end, “the global implementation of the Energy Efficiency First principle would square the circle,” explained Mr Falcioni, “as it would function as a key leverage to decrease the cost of the energy transition while ensuring its cost-effectiveness.” In this context, home appliances would be a great asset for Member States to comply with it, generating increased energy savings that would not only help national authorities reach their goals, but would also increase the welfare of households around the globe.

While the benefits of a prompt energy transition are clear, it is crucial for climate policies to be designed in a way to avoid putting extra pressure on vulnerable households. Carbon pricing instruments are emerging as a promising pathway in combating climate change, still careful assessment is needed to ensure “a balance is reached between higher CO2 prices under tighter rules and affordability of finished goods,” stated Mr Falcioni. Additionally, “when analysing impacts of increased carbon pricing, a special focus is needed on critical sectors and production inputs” he added, stressing the importance of assessing the potential repercussions of such measures on global competitiveness.

The widespread use of chemicals is an additional key element to the discussion. Resort to chemicals is set to increase in the near future, also in consumer products. As an industry that has already heavily transitioned to lower Global Warming Potential refrigerants, “we support the large-scale deployment of new and more advanced technologies to reach the climate targets,” clarified Mr Falcioni. In this sense, it is important to understand that fluorinated gases are still needed for those equipment that will play a key role in reaching the EU climate targets, including heat-pumps. 

When looking at the pathway towards the set climate ambitions, it is crucial to ensure legislation and standardisation can work together. “International standards are key enablers to meet the requirements prescribed in the legal text, responding to changing environments and arising challenges; as such, they play a key role in reaching the decarbonisation target,” detailed Falcioni. 

All in all, fighting climate change is imperative for the future of Europe and the world. COP 26 is the perfect opportunity to ensure all efforts can converge to tackle the global climate emergency. 

Watch APPLiA’s explanatory video on COP 26