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France bans outdoor coolers and heaters

FRANCE: The use of outdoor heating or cooling equipment on the terraces of cafes, bars and restaurants, or any outdoor public space, is now forbidden in France.

The use of this type of equipment has become increasingly popular amongst commercial establishments in France and elsewhere despite criticisms from environmental groups.

A decree implementing the new law, resulting from a proposal of the French Citizen’s Climate Convention aimed at reducing energy consumption, now bans “the use on public property of heating or air conditioning systems that consume energy and operate outdoors”.

The law should have come into force 12 months ago but was postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis but some French municipalities had already taken decrees in this direction.

The new decree provides four exceptions concerning equipment or activities in the case of: the closed tents of circuses and fairground activities; covered and closed mobile installations for temporary cultural, sporting or festive events; waiting areas in stations, ports and airports; bars, cafes, restaurants whose terraces are entirely “covered and closed on their side faces by solid walls connected by an airtight joint to the upper wall”.

Those who violate the law will face fines of up to €1,500 for a first offence.

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