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EIA slams delay on “vital” HFC bans

UK: Environmental group the EIA has slammed the new European F-gas revision proposals for not going far enough to eliminate the use of HFCs.

Specifically, the London-based agency criticises the absence of “vital bans” on new HFC-based refrigeration, heat pump and air conditioning equipment. 

While the revision document does propose GWP limits on allowable HFCs in new split system air conditioners and heat pumps, these would not take effect until 1 January 2027. The EIA insists that based on the findings of the European Commission’s own impact assessment report into the original F-gas regulation in 2012, these sectors should have already transitioned to “climate-friendly” alternatives.

“Climate-friendly natural refrigerants can cover a significant proportion of the heat pump market, so a double climate win is possible – if the parliament and council have the vision to make it happen. Waiting until 2027 for bans to take effect is not an option,” commented EIA climate campaigns leader Clare Perry.

Referring to the Commission’s REPowerEU plan for the installation of 30 million new heat pumps by 2030, she added: “Given this much-needed and overdue roll-out of heat pumps, it is critical that the revised F-gas regulation includes robust measures to ensure these heat pumps do not lock in the use of HFC refrigerants, effectively pitting one piece of climate legislation against another.

“It’s been more than 10 years since the last review and the wealth of missed opportunities here inspires a sinking feeling of déjà vu.

“This proposal doesn’t go far enough to eliminate the use of HFCs and unless it’s significantly amended, it will result in yet another lost decade of climate change action at a time when the world can least afford it,” Perry added.

The EIA does welcome revisions to accelerate the HFC phase-down and to address the illegal HFC trade, but questions the efficacy of the F-gas regulation to close the transit loopholes which, it says, are currently being exploited by black market smugglers.

Related stories:

EC proposes steep HFC cuts and usage bans – 5 April 2022
EUROPE: The European air conditioning and refrigeration industry could face stringent cuts in HFC refrigerants and bans on common AC refrigerants in new EC proposals to strengthen the F-gas regulation. Read more…

Industry calls for rethink on F-gas proposals5 April 2022
BELGIUM: Industry groups have been quick to voice concerns that the EC’s F-gas revision proposal contains “worrying” equipment prohibitions and an “unsustainable” phase-down that risk undermining its own environmental goals. Read more…

F-gas quota cuts will hit heat pump ambitions – 15 March 2022
BELGIUM: The leading European associations have called on the European Commission to rethink its accelerated HFC phase down proposals or risk jeopardising the switch to heat pumps. Read more…

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