As we face the reality of global warming, a new study published in Nature Sustainability has shed light on the preparedness of European countries for hotter days in a 2C warmer world. The study reveals that countries such as Switzerland, the U.K., and Norway are among the least prepared for the increasing frequency of hot days if global warming reaches 2C. These countries lack the necessary infrastructure and building design to keep people calm, which could lead to uncomfortable and potentially dangerous living conditions.
The study compared the estimated temperature averages under 1.5C of warming with those under 2C. It calculated the number of “cooling degree days” - a metric used to measure the time average daily temperatures spend above 18C (64.4F). Above this threshold, homes and buildings are likelier to demand more energy for cooling through air conditioning or fans. The top 10 locations for extra relative demand include eight northern or central European countries, New Zealand, and Canada. All are expected to increase by more than 20% on days that require cooling if the world warms to 2C, compared with 1.5C.
However, the rise in air conditioning demand would strain energy networks and power supplies, particularly as fossil fuels are phased out and replaced with more intermittent renewable energy sources. The study warns that there is a danger that air conditioning will be prioritized over better building efficiency as temperatures rise. This could lead to a vicious cycle of increased energy demand and carbon emissions, exacerbating global warming.
Urgent action is needed to ensure buildings are designed and constructed with the necessary infrastructure to keep people cool during hotter days. We must prioritize building efficiency over air conditioning to prevent a further strain on energy networks and power supplies. As we continue to tackle the challenges posed by global warming, we must take a holistic approach to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities.
Talk with us. Let 's us take care about the energy efficiency of your commercial building