COVID-19 epidemic and the way the global community addressed this threat is an example or rehearsal on handling global threats. We don’t yet know the final ending and the impact on our society. Most of us expect that the future will not be the same: less travel and face to face meetings and more virtual and mixed meetings, conferences and workshops. As HVAC professionals we have to pay more attention to well performing ventilation systems which will help to reduce health risk when new infectious viruses emerge. The programmed REHVA course Safe building operation during COVID-19 (rehva.eu) will support professionals to address this epidemic now and in the years to come.
Many of us are hoping that this global crisis, which is not yet over, teaches us to address the climate crisis we are facing. We as HVAC&R professionals have an important key in hands. When doing our projects our designs and performance choices we are mostly driven by economics and building regulation. It is our responsibility to advice and inform our clients that more sustainable and low carbon solutions are possible. Going beyond the boundaries of short-term cost effectiveness and just following the building requirements is not enough to save our planet for our children and grand-children.
REHVA's mission is to develop and disseminate economical, energy efficient, safe and healthy technology for mechanical services of building; to serve its members and the field of building engineering (HVAC&R) by facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting the development of related EU policies and their national level implementation. I want to add to this: to serve humanity and preserve our planet for future generations.
Listening to the speech of Sir David Attenborough, I want to quote the following:
“If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature, and ocean food chains,” he said, adding “and if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down.” While there is no going back, Sir David stressed that if countries act fast enough, “we can reach a new stable state.” He pointed to the immense public support worldwide for climate action. “People today all over the world now realize this is no longer an issue which will affect future generations,” he said. “It is people alive today, and, in particular, young people, who will live with the consequences of our actions.”
This address was primarily meant to be heard by our politicians and world leaders, but we should not underestimate our own role as professional in our daily job and also as associations at national and European level.
I advise to listen to his compassioned speech: Sir David Attenborough on Climate and Security – UN Security Council Open VTC, 23 February 2021.