European Parliament Committee strongly supports HFC bans in new AC&R equipment

By Klara Skačanová, Jun 20, 2013, 10:46 3 minute reading

The Report on the F-Gas Regulation adopted yesterday (19 June) by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee includes HFC bans for new equipment in additional sectors, a requirement for certification of technicians on f-gas alternatives and a steeper HFC phase-down schedule. Although the vote is only the first step in the process of adopting the F-Gas Regulation, it is a strong signal to the natural refrigerant industry in Europe.

With 49 votes in favour and 19 against, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) yesterday voted in favour of strengthening the F-Gas Regulation, proposed by the European Commission in November 2012.

After the vote, the Rapporteur Bas Eickhout responsible for the draft report at the ENVI Committee told R744.com:
“I think today’s vote is a very, very important outcome for the industry that has been investing in the natural alternatives. They have a very clear signal now that their technologies will be the only ones on the European market after 2020 and it goes down to stationary air-conditioning and refrigeration. I think that is a very important signal also for the ones that have been relying on f-gases – they know it will stop after 2020. That is a major important step and a clear signal that we as a Parliament are now giving.”

Bans in additional sectors and ambitious phase-down

The main elements of the draft F-Gas Regulation adopted at the ENVI Committee:

HFC bans extended to additional HVAC&R sectors: By a large majority, Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have supported bans on the use of HFCs in new equipment for additional sectors:
  • By 2020 for stationary refrigeration (except equipment intended for use at operating temperatures below -50°C)
  • By 2025 for mobile refrigeration
  • By 2020 for stationary air-conditioning and air-conditioning in cargo ships

More ambitious phase-down schedule
: The ambition of the phase-down schedule was increased by yesterday’s vote, as majority of the members supported steeper emissions reduction steps. The maximum quantities of HFCs to be placed on the market have been decreased for years 2016-17 (to 90% from 93%) and 2030 (to 16% from 21%).

Training & mandatory certification also for f-gas alternatives: The Committee supported amendments that would oblige EU Member States to establish certification programmes and ensure that training on alternatives to fluorinated greenhouse gases is available. Certificates would be issued under the condition that the holder provides proof of having updated relevant knowledge and skills in intervals no longer than 5 years.

Agreement foreseen in November 2013

Mr Eickhout expressed hopes that the F-Gas Regulation will be agreed before the UN Climate Change Conference in November:
“We have a mandate for starting negotiations with the Council. We know that the Council is not as far yet as the Parliament, but I have been talking to the Lithuanian presidency and I recommended them to move towards the Parliament in order to have a smooth negotiation round in order to be ready before we go to the next climate summit in Warsaw, which is in November. And I do hope we can get a good outcome, which will stimulate natural refrigerants in Europe.”

In view of the European Parliament elections in May 2014, the EU institutions have signaled their preference for a 1st reading agreement on the F-Gas file. In yesterday’s vote, Members of the European Parliament gave a strong mandate to the Rapporteur Eickhout to start the informal negotiation process on behalf of the Parliament with the Commission and the Council of the EU, also known as the trialogue, in order to reach the final agreement on the F-Gas file.

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By Klara Skačanová

Jun 20, 2013, 10:46




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