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UK must match EU F-gas changes

UK: In a raft of new proposals, the UK’s advisory body on climate change has called on the government to match or exceed future changes to European F-gas regulations.

The Sixth Carbon Budget advice report, published this week by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), also calls for a crackdown on non-compliance and an end to sales of refrigerant to untrained members of the public. 

The Climate Change Committee (CCC), an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008, advises the UK and devolved governments on emissions targets and reports on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new report sets the pathway to net zero and is based on an extensive programme of analysis, consultation and consideration by the committee and its staff.

The CCC highlights a number of priority areas for policy development with regard to the F-gas regulations. 

While the UK has left the European Union, the UK has transferred the current European F-gas regulation into UK law, setting its own independent quota system. Aware that the EU is currently looking to strengthen the F-gas regulation, the CCC has called on the UK government to ensure that any increase in ambition in the European regulation is matched or exceeded by the UK.

It also urges the government to minimise non-compliance, especially in the RACHP sector. Echoing concerns raised by the government’s Environment Audit Committee, the CCC calls for the Environment Agency to be “sufficiently resourced” to carry out adequate inspections.

The CCC proposes that the government should consult with industry and bring forward proposals to ensure that all those who handle refrigerants have up-to-date training. It argues that the current regulatory framework does not require retrospective training for workers trained under previous regulations and allows untrained members of the public to buy R134a and top-up their own car air conditioning units.

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