To control emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the European Union has adopted two legislative acts: the F-gas Regulation and the MAC Directive.
The current F-gas Regulation, which applies since 1 January 2015, replaces the original F-gas Regulation adopted in 2006. The implementing Regulations of the original Regulation remain in force and continue to apply until new acts are adopted.
The Commission is in the process of reviewing the current F-gas Regulation (see below).
The current Regulation strengthened the previous measures and introduced far-reaching changes by:
These measures were built on the successful phase-out of ozone-depleting substances which was achieved in the EU 10 years ahead of the internationally agreed schedule.
Thanks to the F-gas Regulation, the EU’s F-gas emissions will be cut by two-thirds by 2030 compared with 2014 levels.
Given that climate friendly alternatives are available for many of the products and equipment in which F-gases are commonly used, this ambitious reduction is achievable at relatively low cost. It also offers opportunities of driving innovation in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.
While confirming the EU's position as a global leader in taking strong measures on F-gases, this legislation is also meant to inspire others to take action.
In addition, tackling HFC emissions is a priority of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), of which the Commission is a member.
Similarly, the G20 countries have recognised the need to act on HFCs.
As the thresholds for obligations in the Regulation are given in CO2 equivalents, a calculation tool is available to translate tonnes CO2 equivalents into metric tonnes.
The EU Member States are responsible for implementing the F-gas Regulation. For clarification and enforcement issues, please get in touch with the relevant contact in your Member State.
The MAC Directive prohibits the use of F-gases with a global warming potential of more than 150 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2) in new types of cars and vans introduced from 2011, and in all new cars and vans produced from 2017.
A Consultation Forum is mandated by the F-gas Regulation.
Its mission is to provide advice and expertise to the Commission in relation to the implementation of the F-gas Regulation, in particular with regard to the availability of alternatives to fluorinated greenhouse gases, including the environmental, technical, economic and safety aspects of their use.
The Forum consists of experts from national authorities, transnational industry associations, NGOs and international organisations. Representatives of single companies or associations of a single country are not invited to the group. Additional experts may be invited on an ad hoc basis according to the topics to be discussed at the relevant meeting.
The Forum is a permanent expert group of the European Commission. More information can be found in the official register of Commission Expert Groups.
The Commission calls meetings when technical input from stakeholders is required for the implementation of the F-gas Regulation.
The Commission is currently reviewing Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 (the ‘F-gas Regulation’).
This review will evaluate how well the Regulation has functioned, following the standard framework for evaluation of EU policies by examining its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value.
The review will also analyse policy options to improve the Regulation going forward, in view of:
This review includes a number of consultation activities, notably an open online public consultation, consultation of targeted stakeholder groups and a stakeholder workshop.
An open public consultation, to which 241 stakeholders responded, concluded on 29 December 2020. The individual responses and a short summary is available on the public consultation page.
A stakeholder conference was held on 6 May 2021 (presentation). Ahead of the meeting participants received a background briefing summarising preliminary results from a study, which has been contracted by the Commission to support its evaluation of the current F-gas Regulation and impact assessment of potential future policy options. Read more about the conference.
Based on the results of the consultations and the work of external experts, the Commission will draw up a joint evaluation and impact assessment to examine if and how it can further improve the Regulation in the coming years. A Commission proposal for a new Regulation is expected by end of 2021.
For further information, please contact CLIMA-HFC-Registry@ec.europa.eu.
To ensure a smooth transition from the old regime to the new regime, Commission Regulations (EC) 1497/2007, (EC) No 1516/2007, (EC) No 304/2008, (EC) No 306/2008 and (EC) No 307/2008 remain in force and continue to apply unless and until repealed by delegated or implementing acts adopted by the Commission pursuant to the 2014 F-gas Regulation.