The EU HFC phase-down

Fluorinated gases, or F-gases, are a range of greenhouse gases widely used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, most notably hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). They are governed in the European Union by the F-Gas Regulation. We campaigned extensively against industry lobbying to ensure a robust and ambitious revision of the Regulation and are now advocating its swift, effective implementation. The revised EU F-gas Regulation, in force from March 2024, mandates the world’s first phase-out of HFCs.

The problem

Making the EU F-Gas Regulation a success is a key priority for EU countries. It ensures compliance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, supports international climate commitments on greenhouse gases and leads the global transition to climate-friendly F-gas-free technologies.

The Regulation stipulates a stepwise decrease in HFC use to zero by 2050. The revised regulation also includes a number of new product bans for F-gases in cooling equipment and heat pumps to ensure that sectors shift to viable and affordable climate-friendly alternative technologies.

  • (68,000+) EU supermarkets are using natural refrigerant carbon dioxide in 2023 (up from 140 in 2008)
  • (500 million) – the additional CO2-equivalent emissions that the revised EU F-gas Regulation will eliminate by 2050
  • (2050) – the target date for the EU’s HFC phase-out


  • Since 2008

    We have conducted a series of unique supermarket surveys, Chilling Facts, which have

    encouraged supermarkets to move away from HFCs
  • 2014

    We were closely involved in the negotiations to review the original F-Gas Regulation

    which was adopted in 2014
  • Bans

    We have campaigned on a number of bans on new HFC-based equipment

    which are being adopted until 2025

Moving forward

Now the EU law is on the books, we are committed to the challenge of ensuring its swift and effective implementation and enforcement.

We are working with NGO partners, policy-makers, industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the ambition of the Regulation is implemented and to secure rapid adoption of sustainable, energy efficient F-gas-free technologies. We regularly produce technical and policy briefings, attend Commission-organised stakeholder meetings and speak at key policy and industry events.

We are also campaigning to secure equally ambitious amendments to UK legislation, by engaging with UK policy makers and other stakeholders on the GB F-gas Regulation revision.

Our 7th Chilling Facts report highlighted the continued lack of awareness of the impact of the HFC phase-down among some European retailers, which are responsible for a large proportion of Europe’s HFC consumption.

We are calling on EU member states to provide additional support to companies struggling to move quickly away from HFCs. In March 2018, we and our partners outlined these steps in detail to the 3rd F-Gas Consultation Forum.  Steps that governments should be taking include: mandatory training on natural refrigerant technologies; support for the revision of standards to allow the safe use of flammable refrigerants; promotion of climate-friendly cooling technologies through government public procurement and financial incentives; consideration of additional or earlier sectoral bans in key sectors; and the adoption of an HFC licensing system to help tackle illegal trade in HFCs.