Fluorinated gases (or F-gases) are used in a range of industrial applications, but they have a particularly powerful warming effect when released into the atmosphere. The EU led the way by first legislating on F-gases in 2006. Thanks to strong measures, F-gas emissions in the EU have been falling since 2015.
As part of the European Green Deal, the EU has raised its climate ambition, and committed to net greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 55% by 2030, and climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, the European Commission is in the process of reviewing all climate relevant rules, including those on F-gases.
The first Fit for 55 package is due to be adopted in summer 2021, and a review of the EU F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 will follow by the end of 2021. The Regulation is the main instrument for reducing emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gases in the EU. Besides its contribution to the EU targets and the goals of the Paris Agreement, the EU F-gas Regulation must also ensure compliance with the EU’s obligation to reduce consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
Speaking ahead of a conference on the review, Deputy Director General for Climate Action, Clara de la Torre said, “the question is not whether we need to do this, but how we can do it best,” underlining the importance of a more ambitious EU action on F-gases. In addition to raising the level of ambition and ensuring long-term EU compliance with international rules, the review will also help ensure the rules are easier to enforce and coherent with other legislation.
Stakeholders will be informed about the preliminary findings of a study and the Commission will seek additional technical input to enhance the basis for the F-gas review. See the agenda for more details.
The Commission commissioned this study to support its work on an evaluation of the current Regulation and an impact assessment of the future rules. Its findings will show how well the Regulation works and how it could be improved, as well as analysing impacts of potential policy options that take into account the most recent technologies.
Indeed, since the current Regulation was written almost a decade ago, industry has made impressive progress on climate-friendly solutions in the areas where F-gases are used, e.g. in refrigeration, heat pumps and air-conditioning equipment.
The conference is fully booked with over 400 participants expected to attend.