LONDON: Climate campaigners at the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) welcome the European Parliament’s adoption today of a series of ambitious amendments to the European Commission proposal on a revised EU F-Gas Regulation, which largely rejected a last-ditch industry lobby attempt to reduce its ambition.
The flagship measures in the European Parliament position are an acceleration of the current EU HFC phase-down from 2024 onward, culminating in a complete phase-out by 2050, together with the introduction of prohibitions on new HFC-based equipment in a range of sectors, including smaller heat pumps and air-conditioning systems.
The measures were adopted by the Parliament with 426 votes in favour, 109 against and 52 abstentions.
To address concerns that an accelerated HFC phase-out will jeopardise the roll-out of heat pumps under REPowerEU, the European Parliament slightly delayed the Commission-proposed bans on new HFC-based heat pumps and increased the HFC quota during the 2027-29 period, with an annual review to ensure compatibility with REPowerEU.
The European Parliament also voted to direct revenues from the new HFC quota price to promote the uptake of heat pumps, such as upskilling gas boiler installers.
EIA Climate Campaign Leader Clare Perry said: “We urgently need the heat pump roll-out, but it needs to avoid as far as possible the use of HFC refrigerants or it will lock in these super greenhouse gases and their ‘forever chemicals’ emissions far into the future. The Parliament position supports leading European heat pump manufacturers that are investing in sustainable natural refrigerant technologies.”
The European Parliament also voted to include bans on the use of F-gases in other sectors, such as chillers, foams, transport refrigeration and technical aerosols. It further adopted measures to address illegal HFC trade, require mandatory producer extended responsibility and raise the quota price to €5, with periodic increases over time to match the phase-down steps and ensure a constant revenue stream.
EIA Senior Lawyer & Policy Advisor Tim Grabiel added: “The message from Parliament could not be more clear – fluorinated greenhouse gases have no future in a 1.5°C constrained world. Today’s vote is also a vote for European industry which stands to benefit tremendously from early investment in sustainable natural refrigerant alternatives.”
CONTACTS FOR MEDIA
- Clare Perry, EIA Climate Campaign Leader, via clareperry[at]eia-international.org
- Paul Newman, EIA Senior Press & Communications Officer, via press[at]eia-international.org
- The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses. Our undercover investigations expose transnational wildlife crime, with a focus on elephants, pangolins and tigers, and forest crimes such as illegal logging and deforestation for cash crops such as palm oil; we work to safeguard global marine ecosystems by tackling plastic pollution, exposing illegal fishing and seeking an end to all whaling; and we address the threat of global warming by campaigning to curtail powerful refrigerant greenhouse gases and exposing related criminal trade.
- Read the European Parliament press release at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20230327IPR78543/fluorinated-gases-reinforced-eu-action-to-cut-emissions
- Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are the fastest-growing greenhouse gases, representing 2.3 per cent of global GHG emissions. Given their short atmospheric lifetime, HFCs are considered a critical lever to avoid exceeding 1.5°C of warming and dangerous tipping points. Many F-gases are also per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘forever chemicals’ because of their persistence in the environment.
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