The Climate Agreement does not take into account the sharp increase in demand for energy-guzzling air conditioners in homes. This makes it more difficult for the EU to achieve the climate targets.
Consumers’ growing need to cool their homes is a blind spot in Dutch climate policy. That is what the Dutch Climate Association states. “In Nothern and Central Europe we are mainly talking about how we are going to heat our houses without natural gas. But because of better insulation of homes, the demand for heat is falling sharply, while the need for cooling is actually increasing, “says spokesman Jan Engels of the Climate Association, a collaboration of many dozens of local governments such as provinces, municipalities and water boards.
That turned out last week. When record temperatures above 40 degrees were reached in the Netherlands, the air conditioners flew out again. Large web stores such as bol.com and CoolBlue saw the demand for the devices rise by 300 percent in recent years, reports the air treatment and refrigeration technology company NVKL. The expectation is that sales will continue to increase. Air conditioners consume a lot of electricity and therefore cause a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the roaring outdoor units of air-conditioning systems ensure that cities get a little warmer.
The Climate Agreement presented by the government at the end of June does not include the extra emissions from air-conditioning and the need for cooling in homes, scientific researcher Nico Hoogervorst of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms. ,, We do have an idea of how much coolness offices, shops, hospitals and companies need and how much energy is needed for this. But the cooling of houses should also be taken into account. ”
Diederik Samsom, chairman of the climate table for the built environment, states when asked not to know that the PBL did not include the figures.
“Then they will have to do that the next time.”
According to the Climate Agreement, the Netherlands must emit 49 percent less greenhouse gases in 2030 than in 1990. The climate table-built environment must realize a saving of 3.4 megatons of CO2, an ambition that is more difficult to achieve if we continue to purchase air-conditioning on a massive scale. It is unclear how much energy the cooling of homes costs. The Climate Association states that well-insulated zero-meter homes represent more than a quarter of the total energy requirement in a home. Samsom, on the other hand, expects the extra energy consumption to be better than expected. “That blind spot isn’t that awful.”