French Heat Wave Plan approved by the air-conditioning sector
Following the heat wave in Europe during the summer 2003, the French health minister took part in a conference on the new government's Heat Wave Plan. During this conference, the role of air conditioning was recognized. The refrigeration and air-conditioning sector, which currently employs 50 000 practitioners and continues to create jobs, hence reacted favourably. Patrick L'Hostis, CEO of Carrier Europe Middle East Africa, declared that this plan allows people to become aware of a new concept: air conditioning can save lives. The Heat Wave Plan involves several actions that need to be implemented in order to avoid another sanitary disaster, which killed 15 000 people in France last year. Hence, the plan involves: - four alert levels - conducting of a census of the population "at risk" - providing additional personnel in hospitals and retirement homes - a State grant for retirement homes in order to provide at least one cooled room per establishment for the pensioners. This grant implies a 40% financial contribution for purchasing air-conditioning systems; over 20 million euros will be granted to provide at least one cooled room in establishments accommodating old age pensioners.