European Parliament Plenary votes in favour of new EU F-Gas rules

By Alexandra Maratou, Mar 12, 2014, 14:50 3 minute reading

On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament’s plenary formally adopted the compromise text of the new EU F-Gas Regulation that had been agreed among the EU institutions in December 2013. The attention now turns to EU Member States represented in the Council of the EU, which also needs to officially endorse the informal agreement before the legislative process is finalised and new rules apply, as of 2015. -

With 644 votes in favour, 19 against and 16 abstentions, the European Parliament has given the green light to the F-Gas compromise ‘deal’ that had been agreed in so called ‘trilogue’ negotiations among the European institutions in December 2013. The deal foresees HFC bans for new equipment in certain sectors and an overall phase down of bulk HFCs by 79% by 2030, measured in CO2 equivalent, compared to average levels in 2009-2012.

HFC bans in new equipment

Among the measures included under the new F-Gas Regulation, HFC bans will likely have the most direct and immediate effect on speeding up the transition to natural refrigerants, with the sectors for which the ban applies likely to see the strongest growth in the uptake of natural refrigerants.
We wanted to ensure that there were bans in certain sectors, commercial refrigeration systems for example, and air conditioning that uses high GWP gases”, said Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur of the new EU F-Gas Regulation, negotiating the file for the European Parliament during a debate one day before the plenary vote. “We could not get through everything, we had to give up some of our ambitions but we have a review in 2017 that we can bring into play and we can review the situation then.

Bans on HFCs in new equipment that were agreed in the negotiation process and adopted by the European Parliament include the following refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors:
  • Domestic refrigerators and freezers with global warming potential (GWP) ≥ 150 - as of 2015
  • Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use, hermetically sealed
             - with GWP ≥ 2500 - as of 2020
             - with GWP ≥ 150 - as of 2022
  • Stationary refrigeration equipment (expect that designed to cool below -50°C (GWP ≥ 2500) – as of 2020
  • Multipack centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use with capacity ≥ 40kW with GWP ≥ 150 – as of 2022, except in the primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems where f-gases with a GWP < 1500 may be used
  • Movable room AC, hermetically sealed (GWP ≥ 150) – as of 2020
  • Split AC containing < 3kg of HFCs (GWP ≥ 750) – as of 2025

EU Climate Commissioner: “The new Regulation will have a direct impact globally”
The new regulation will not only reduce emissions in the EU, but will have a direct impact globally”, said EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard during the 11 March 2014 debate in the European Parliament. “Increased EU demand for alternative technologies is likely to spur innovation and economies of scale also in other markets, hence reducing costs of a global phase-down of HFCs. This is crucial, because unless other major economies follow Europe’s lead, global production and consumption of these extremely powerful greenhouse gases will continue to grow. The swift and immediate implementation of the Regulation as of 2015 will prove that ambitious measures on HFCs are feasible. With this domestic legislation the EU has gained global leadership on this issue and we are prepared to use this role in order to make progress also at the international level”.

New EU F-Gas rules to become effective as of 2015

A final step in the decision-making process remains the formal adoption of the Regulation by Member States represented in the Council of the EU, which is foreseen in spring 2014. Afterwards, the Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and will come into force 20 days later. The new rules will start to apply as of 1 January 2015.  

MORE INFORMATION

By Alexandra Maratou

Mar 12, 2014, 14:50




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