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UK prepares cooling outlook document

UK: The UK government has confirmed that it expects to publish a national cooling action plan “in the early part” of the next parliament. 

Responding to the Environmental Audit Committee’s January report – Heat Resilience and Sustainable Cooling – and its own commitments under the UN Global Cooling Pledge, the government said it was working to publish a “cooling outlook document” in advance of the target date of 2026.

It also confirmed it was looking to update minimum energy performance standards for commercial refrigeration and acknowledged that further action might be needed to improve F-gas recovery rates.

Global Cooling Pledge

The UK was one of the first countries to sign up to the Global Cooling Pledge launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai last December.

“We are currently engaged in the early stages of development to design the scope of the cooling outlook document. Given this is a cross-cutting issue we will be working across government and with other stakeholders in its development,” it has said.

The cooling outlook document, it said, would be “appropriate” for the UK. “As well as fulfilling the Cooling Pledge commitments, the cooling outlook document will provide a central repository for UK cooling policies and initiatives, highlighting government’s efforts, fostering collaboration and partnerships, and will provide a mechanism for identifying priorities, gaps, and opportunities for sustainable cooling.”

Changes to minimum energy performance standards

The government also confirmed that the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero was currently undertaking research into commercial refrigeration to update minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), and would be doing the same for other products in due course.

The Global Cooling Pledge commits the UK to establish MEPS by 2030 at the latest and to regularly raise ambition and progress with a view to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Cooling equipment takeback

The government also acknowledged that further action might be needed to improve F-gas recovery rates.

The Environmental Audit Committee had called for the government to evaluate the merits of introducing a takeback scheme in England to improve cooling equipment disposal practices, and thereby helping to minimise F-gas leakage.

The government confirmed that Defra’s ongoing review of the F- gas regulation sought to make changes that would deliver greater emissions savings in support of meeting the UK’s net zero target. 

Related stories:

UK should address “silent killer” heatwaves31 January 2024
UK: The UK government has been urged to tackle the “silent killer” of heatwaves amid claims that the UK is ill-prepared for rising temperatures. Read more…

Over 60 countries sign Global Cooling Pledge5 December 2023
UAE: Sixty-three countries are reported to have signed up to the Global Cooling Pledge which was launched today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. Read more…

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