- Accelerate phase-down and total phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons by 2050
- Faster move towards climate-friendly solutions
- Fluorinated gases are used in refrigerators, air-conditioning, heat pumps, fire protection
Parliament is ready to negotiate with EU governments on further reducing fluorinated gases emissions, to meet EU and global climate goals.
On Thursday, MEPs adopted their position on revising the EU’s legislative framework on fluorinated gases (F-gases) emissions with 426 votes in favour, 109 against and 52 abstentions.
Contribute to EU’s climate neutrality objective
MEPs want a steeper phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on the EU market from 2039 onwards, with a full HFC production and consumption phase-out by 2050 (Annex VII). This target would align the updated rules with the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.
Boost alternative solutions and tackle illegal activities
To stimulate the uptake of climate-friendly solutions and to provide certainty for consumers and investors, MEPs want to strengthen the requirements that govern the placing on the EU single market of products containing F-gases (Annex IV). The report includes specific phase-out dates for the use of F-gases in sectors where it is technologically and economically feasible to switch to alternatives, such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heat pumps and electrical switchgear.
MEPs also want illegal trade in f-gases to be better policed, by allowing customs authorities to seize and confiscate F-gases imported or exported in violation of the rules, in line with the upcoming environmental crime directive.
Rapporteur Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) said: “F-gases are not well known, but have major implications for our climate, as they are very powerful greenhouse gases. In most instances, natural alternatives are readily available. That’s why we voted for an ambitious position to fully phase out F-gases by 2050 and in most sectors already by the end of this decade. We are providing clarity to the market and a signal to invest in alternatives. Many European companies are already at the forefront of this development and will benefit from it, because of their market position and export opportunities.”
Once Council agrees on its position, MEPs are ready to start the talks on the final shape of the legislation.
Fluorinated greenhouse gases, which include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride, are man-made greenhouse gases (GHG) with high global warming potential. They are used in common appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioning, heat pumps, fire protection, foams and aerosols. They are covered by the Paris Agreement together with CO2, methane and nitrous oxide and account for around 2,5% of EU’s GHG emissions.
Additional reduction of F-gases emissions is needed to contribute to EU climate objectives and comply with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.