Climate Action

F-gas Report 2014: Gearing up for the new F-gas Regulation

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The European Environment Agency (EEA) today published the annual report on fluorinated gases (F-gases) for 2014. Reducing emissions from these gases is key to avoiding climate change. The report is based on reporting from companies required by the new F-gas Regulation.

The new report ‘Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2014’ covers F-gas production, use, import, export and destruction in the European Union in 2014. F-gases are used in sectors such as refrigeration and air-conditioning to replace ozone-depleting substances. However, F-gases are powerful greenhouse gases. The EU therefore began regulating F-gases in 2006.

F-gas emissions in the EU currently make up approximately 2.5% of EU-28 overall greenhouse gas emissions, measured in CO2-equivalent tonnes (CO2eq) to be able to assess their effect on the climate. The new F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 aims to reduce F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030 compared to 2010.

A new quota system for the main type of F-gases (HFCs) requires that producers and importers of HFCs may only sell (place on the market) a limited amount of HFCs each year. This report covers the last year before the start of this quota system in 2015 and as expected the data shows that companies have been stocking up HFCs in 2014 in preparation of this HFC phase-down. The quota system is, however, based on reported data from 2009-2012 and is quickly tightening the supply to the market. Therefore, the one-off increase in 2014 will not have a significant effect on the overall environmental ambition of the HFC phase-down.

Key findings

The overall 2014 trends can be summarised as follows:

  • EU production of F-gases continued to decline for the fourth consecutive year since 2011. Production, measured in tonnes CO2eq, experienced a year-on-year decline of 11%.
  • Bulk exports of F-gases continued to increase for the fifth year in a row. There was an increase of 24% (CO2eq) compared to 2013.
  • Bulk imports of fluorinated gases increased by 90% compared to last year’s reporting (CO2eq), mostly due to a 95% increase in HFC imports, presumably as companies prepared for the new F-gas Regulation.
  • As a result of the high amount of imports, 2014 was marked by a 61% increase in amounts of HFC being placed on the market