The European Commission today launched a public consultation on strengthening EU measures to reduce emissions of fluorinated gases, a group of industrial gases which are extremely powerful contributors to global warming.
A Commission review, which was also adopted today, concludes that the EU's existing Regulation on fluorinated gases ('F-gases') is having a significant impact but that, without further measures, F-gas emissions are expected to remain at today's levels in the long term.
The review identifies wide scope for further cost-effective emission reductions, mainly due to the growing feasibility of replacing F-gases in several sectors with alternatives that make less or no contribution to climate change. Potentially the EU could eliminate up to two thirds of today's fluorinated gas emissions by 2030, it finds.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "The EU Regulation on fluorinated gases has successfully broken a growing trend in emissions and driven technological innovation. However, making the transition to a competitive low-carbon EU economy by 2050 requires ambitious action to cut emissions from all sectors. It is clear there is considerable scope for cost-effective reductions in F-gas emissions and following the public consultation I intend to propose new legislative measures next year."
The consultation runs until 19 December 2011 and is addressed to all interested stakeholders.