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Enviro committee backs “ambitious” F-gas revision

EUROPE: The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has today agreed to an “ambitious” revision of the F-gas regulation (517/2014) despite industry concerns that the proposals are unrealistic and jeopardise climate targets.

On Wednesday members of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted their position on revising the EU’s legislative framework on fluorinated gases emissions by 64 votes to eight, with seven abstentions.

While the vote included some compromise amendments to the draft proposal published by rapporteur Bas Eickhout in October, the revision still calls for a ban on F-gases in plug-in room, monoblock and other self-contained air conditioning and heat pump equipment from 1 January 2026; single split systems including fixed double duct systems containing less than 3kg of F-gases from 1 January 2027; in split systems of a rated capacity of up to and including 12kW from 1 January 2028;  restricts split systems of a rated capacity of between 12kW and 200kW to refrigerants with a GWP under 750 by 1 January 2028 and a total ban of F-gases in split systems of a rated capacity of more than 200kW by the same date.

Commenting on the vote, Bas Eickhout said: “In most instances, natural alternatives are readily available. That’s why we voted for an ambitious position to fully phase out F-gases by 2050 and in most sectors already by the end of this decade. We are providing clarity to the market and a signal to invest in alternatives. Many European companies are already at the forefront of this development and will benefit from it, because of their market position and export opportunities.”

The vote also calls for a steeper trajectory from 2039 onwards to phase down HFCs, with the goal of a zero HFC target by 2050. 

There are some concessions for heat pumps, with the European Commission being asked to ensure that the HFC phase-down would not endanger the RePowerEU heat pump deployment targets as the industry has to work towards replacing HFCs with natural alternatives.

The ENVI Committee report will now go before the full European Parliament before trialogue negotiations with the Council.

More on this story and industry comment to follow.

Related stories:

Euro vote a major setback for heat pumps1 March 2023
BELGIUM: The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has described today’s F-gas vote as a major setback for heat pumps in Europe. Read more…

EIA applauds positive F-gas vote1 March 2023
UK: Green group the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has applauded the “urgently needed” F-gas bans voted on today by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI). Read more…

Euro industry calls for “realistic” F-gas vote – 27 February 2023
EUROPE: Twelve leading associations and groups active in the European HVACR market have called on the European Parliament’s environment committee to reject amendments which would ban F-gases. Read more…

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