APPLiA's Digital Interviews: COP 26, home appliances towards reaching climate targets

The ninth episode of APPLiA’s series of short digital interviews is now available. Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General, sheds light on the role of the home appliance industry in the ongoing COP 26, the United Nations summit addressing climate change, currently taking place in Glasgow. 

Watch APPLiA's ninth digital interview, here.


In the context of the series of short digital interviews launched by APPLiA, the ninth episode features Mr Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General on the role of the home appliance industry in the ongoing COP 26, the United Nations summit addressing climate change, currently taking place in Glasgow. 

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges mankind is facing. “The home appliance industry plays a crucial role in the decarbonisation of the economy and represents a key enabler of the energy transition,” kicked off Mr Falcioni, shedding light on the significant contribution of the sector towards tackling the issue. With climate ambitions on the rise at the EU and global level, the implementation of some key recommendations from the industry is of utmost importance to achieve the set targets. 

Originally conceived as a guiding tool for the design of energy-related policies in the EU, the Energy Efficiency First Principle builds on the notion that Europe’s biggest energy source is energy efficiency. Taking increasing importance at the EU legislative level, the principle aims at reducing the total decarbonisation effort needed while ensuring a cost-effective energy transition: the less energy demand via increased energy efficiency, the less CO2 that would need to be abated by policy measures. “Working towards the global implementation of the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle would square the circle of citizens’ welfare and decarbonisation,” detailed Mr Falcioni, advancing the first recommendation from the industry. In this sense, home appliances represent a cost-effective solution for Member States to comply with the principle and ultimately tackle the global issue of climate change.  Indeed, energy savings from the replacement of old and inefficient buildings as well as from the introduction of smart appliances would significantly push energy savings, generating in turn an increased welfare for the households and unleashing the full potentials of both the energy and digital transition. 

As policymakers are stepping up efforts to tackle the pressing climate issue, also carbon pricing instruments emerge to be a promising pathway in combating decarbonisation. Nevertheless, careful assessment is needed to ensure that “CO2 prices and affordability of finished goods are balanced”, but also that ”impacts on critical sectors and production inputs are carefully evaluated together with the potential repercussions carbon pricing policies could have on global competitiveness,” highlighted Mr Falcioni. 

With the use of chemicals undoubtedly increasing in the near future and as an industry that has already heavily transitioned to lower Global Warming Potential refrigerants, the home appliance sector welcomes the large-scale deployment of new and more advanced technologies. In this sense and in view of the developments from the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament with regards to the Motion for Resolution on COP 26, “it is important to understand that fluorinated gases are still needed for the equipment that will play a key role in reaching the EU climate targets, including heat-pumps,” Mr Falcioni stated. 

All in all, climate change is a defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. To strengthen the global response it is crucial for legislation and standardisation to work in unison. Indeed, “international standards are key enablers to meet the requirements prescribed in the legal text,” pointed Mr Falcioni, shedding light on their centrality when it comes to reaching the ultimate climate goals.  

This and much more in APPLiA’s ninth digital interview, available at this link.