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The dilemma of getting the priorities right

The constant dilemma for the cooling industry: which to fix first, the faulty defrost timer or the planet?

We are on the verge of Olympic year, but for many in the cooling industry, minds are on bigger things than the lap times of the British Team Pursuit Cyclist Team. Because once again the spectre of global warming hangs above us all.

It look likes being a busy Christmas if you are a climate professional – yes I know that’s what you all are, but this time I mean one of those hundreds of policy makers who shuttle between global climate talks – because the latest scientific evidence has shown that there is a lot of work to do to ensure that the planet doesn’t exceed the globally agreed 2 deg C temperature rise this century.

Cynics will at this point note that there must plenty of CO2 emissions produced by debating what to do about it and perhaps that any phase down should apply first to climate meetings.

But the reality is once again HFCs and their global warming potential are in the sights of climate policymakers and most pressingly the European Commission which has tabled a proposal for potential phase-down -  a proposal which could fundamentally change the landscape of our cooling industry.

But the industry has a dilemma. For many of readers, what is happening at a global or legislative level is a long long way away from the reality of daily business priorities. Which is keeping the customers happy by designing that more efficient chiller, fixing the faulty defrost timer etc etc.

But anyone who doesn’t believe there is a direct impact on cooling from wider green ideas should see what the supermarkets are doing. Our Retail Question Time on November 28 aimed to get to grips with how this affects the industry.

I know a lot of what is said in the global climate talks is high-faluting policytalk which has no bearing on the reality of what an engineering-based industry actually does.

But the vital point is, if the industry doesn’t work to address the fundamental issues raised, these policymakers will simply listen to the green lobbyists who are more fluent in climatespeak.

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