EU Commission Adopts Rules Limiting Fluorinated Gases - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial  -  January 30, 2024

EU Commission Adopts Rules Limiting Fluorinated Gases

The European Commission announced the adoption of strengthened rules on the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS), which currently represent over 3% of the EU's total GHG emissions.

According to a statement, the endorsement marks a step towards reaching the EU's 2030 climate goals and climate neutrality by 2050, including the elimination of an additional 500 million tons of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2050.

The new rules will eliminate the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the most common F-gases, by 2050. Under the new regulations, the existing quota levels have been significantly lowered, which limits imports and production of HFCs year-on-year. By 2030, HFCs placed on the market in the EU will be phased down by 95% below 2015 levels and will be completely phased out by mid-century. 

The new rules will also restrict the use of all F-gases in equipment where climate-friendly alternatives are available, such as heat pumps, switchgear for energy transmission, or products used in the health sector. 

These new obligations will also lower F-gas and ODS emissions from insulation foams in old buildings and those under renovation. The new measures on F-gases will ensure that obsolete equipment using refrigerants with a high global warming potential may not be exported from the EU.

The agreement sends a clear signal to manufacturers of products that traditionally use F-gases to steer their investments towards climate-friendly alternatives, and will help stimulate innovation and the development of clean technologies. 

New measures to better enforce these rules and monitor the market will facilitate customs and surveillance authorities to control imports and exports and crack down on the illegal trade of gases and related equipment.

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