BRUSSELS — The European Union (EU) has reached an agreement on new rules for fluorinated gases (F-gases). The rules will introduce a cap on HFC refrigerant consumption to achieve a 79 percent reduction by 2030. The heating, cooling, and refrigeration industry, represented by the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), said it welcomed the new rules.

Andrea Voigt, EPEE director general, said, “I am proud that our committed industry has shown progressiveness and has always supported ambitious environmental rules on F-gases through a cap and phase down. The phase down will steer innovation and help industry to move towards alternative solutions in a safe and efficient way.”

Voigt added, “We are also pleased that the rules have been concluded in first reading, as our members will now have the regulatory certainty to ensure long-term business planning — all of which will ultimately benefit the EU economy.”

In addition to the cap and phase down of 79 percent, the EU institutions also agreed to a traceability system to better track equipment containing F-gases which are imported into the EU, as well as a service and maintenance ban to ensure that current equipment moves toward more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

It was also agreed to broaden the scope of bans by introducing a global warming potential (GWP) limit for bigger refrigeration systems and small split air conditioning systems. Although EPEE believes additional bans were not required to reach climate goals, the association accepts that these were needed to reach a common political agreement.

The agreement will now need to be formally endorsed by both the European Parliament and the Council. After this the rules are expected to become applicable from 2015

Publication date: 12/16/2013

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