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Parliamentary questions
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8 June 2021
Question for written answer  E-003020/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tiemo Wölken (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Sulphur hexafluoride emissions and measures to counter such emissions

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF) has over 4 000 times the impact on climate as CO2. The quantities used to combat pests (hardwood and coniferous wood in containers, effective against e.g. bark beetle) were minimal for a long time but have increased dramatically since 2018. It is acknowledged that this causes the equivalent of several million tonnes of CO 2 in the EU’s ports. Yet the gas still does not appear on the list of relevant greenhouse gases, and emissions are not monitored for inclusion in climate figures either internationally or in the EU. Douglas Products, the market-leading producer of SF, has pledged to bring a filter for the gas onto the market in 2022.

1. How high does the Commission estimate SF emissions to be across the Union?

2. What technical alternatives does the Commission consider to be suitable, and should these be geared to filtering solutions or rather to alternative fumigation methods?

3. What regulatory measures will the Commission take to monitor the use of SF, conduct checks and impose a reporting obligation on its use; is the Commission in favour of including SF in international climate statistics; should SF also be included in the EU’s climate figures; and what measures will the Commission propose to contain and put an end to SF emissions?

Original language of question: DE
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