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Mobile air conditioners (MACs) result in the direct emissions of fluorinated gas (HFC-134a in most systems after 1994) and the indirect emissions of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas from increased fuel use. Both fluorinated gases and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol. MACs are already considered standard equipment on vehicles sold in Japan and North America. They are now
penetrating very rapidly to the vehicle fleet of Europe.
Both the European Commission and the European Union (EU) Member States are concerned about the impact of this development on the emissions of greenhouse gases. In its conclusions on 10 October 2000 EU's environment ministers requested the European Commission to "study and prepare measures in reduction of all greenhouse gas emissions from air conditioning in vehicles". As part of the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) the Commission is studying the different aspects of greenhouse gas emissions due to mobile air conditioning and will make legislative proposals to reduce the emissions.
As vehicle manufacturing is a global business, the Commission considers it important to consult European and international experts and stakeholders on the options to reduce greenhouse gases due to MACs. Thus, it will organise a stakeholder conference on the Options to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions due to Mobile Air Conditioning.
The purpose of the conference is to identify policy relevant options on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to mobile air conditioners and to make recommendations to regulators and vehicle manufacturers in the EU and elsewhere.
The conference will have 120 invited or nominated participants. The target audience consists of some 40 policy makers/advisors developing options to reduce the climate change impact of MACs from the EU, Australia, Japan, the United States (US) as well as some other countries (e.g. China and India). Some 70 participants are expected to represent the vehicle and component manufacturers from the EU, Japan, Korea and the United States. And 10 participants expected to be from non-governmental consumer, environmental, and professional organisations.
Role of presenters and contributors to the presentations
The presentations made during the conference are to facilitate the discussions. While presentations aim at showing areas of expert agreement, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisations that employee the experts. The presentations and the subsequent discussion will be made available to the public at large through internet after the conference.