Europe’s heatwave disaster is worsening as locals lack air con

Europe faces a harsh winter as inflation and energy prices continue to rise. The continent, too, faces difficult decisions after its scorching summer

Heat waves in Europe broke records, sparked widespread wildfires and even damaged a busy London airport runway.

Unlike the US, European countries do not rely on air conditioning to deal with high temperatures. According to the International Energy Agency, less than 10% of homes in Europe had air conditioning in 2016.

“If we look at the beginning of this summer, it was pretty quiet. We used to get 20 inquiries a day, maybe from people interested in air conditioning,” said Richard Salmon, director of The Air Conditioning Co., based in central London.

Demand for air conditioning skyrocketed as temperatures in the UK topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I’ve been here 15 years and I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Salmon said.

As countries around the world quickly find ways to cool their homes and businesses, it becomes increasingly important to install cooling technology that does not contribute to higher temperatures via carbon emissions in the future.

“It is clear that unless effective mitigation strategies are put in place at a global scale to reduce emissions, this type of summer and these type of events will become the new norm,” said Andrea Toreti, senior climate scientist at the European Commission, the executive body the EU.

Watch the video to learn more about why large parts of Europe are without air conditioning, how air conditioning contributes to climate change and new types of efficient cooling technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions.

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