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F-gas amendments flood in as MEPs prepare to vote

EUROPE: As the European Parliament prepares to vote on revisions to the F-gas regulations, dozens of new last-minute amendments have been tabled by MEPs.

The vote, expected on Thursday, will have wide ranging impacts on the HVACR sector in Europe and beyond and implications for industrial, commercial and domestic end-users. 

Many of the new amendments seek to address concerns of air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump stakeholders over the speed of the HFC phase down and timetable for the product bans.  

In an eleventh-hour statement, an alliance of 14 leading European and global associations representing the heating, cooling, refrigeration, foam insulation, hospitality, farming, agriculture and food distribution sectors have urged MEPs to adopt some of these amendments “to help ensure an effective F-gas phase down while maintaining the EU’s climate and energy security goals”. 

The amendments in question have been tabled by a diversity of MEPs from 16 countries and across six political groups.

Amendments 172 and 185 basically seek to delay the three-year phase-down steps by three years, avoiding the big step-down in 2027. Amendment 185 is tabled by 87 MEPs and is shown in the table below. Amendment 172 tabled by Croatian MEP Ladislav Ilčić, is basically the same except it seeks an increased allowance on the initial 2024 to 2026 step of 45,701,077 tonnes CO2e.

The alliance of 14 insists that these amendments will ensure “the long-term ambition of the EU Commission and the 2050 carbon neutrality targets” that the industry supports. It also says that it will enables the necessary heat pump deployment to achieve the REPowerEU targets.

Other amendments backed by the alliance seek to delay the proposed restrictions on split systems and heat pumps, separating out some of the product types and capacities and pushing some of the bans back to 2029/2030.

The alliance also seeks the support of MEPs for an amendment to the Commission’s proposal to also ban the sale of spare parts to existing equipment which the alliance says would be contradictory to the EU circular economy objectives.

Russell Patten, director general of EPEE, one of the alliance members, told the Cooling Post: “What we’re asking is really not miracles. It’s just a few extra years to ensure that the transition out of HFCs can be done in a proper way.”

Significantly, many of the new amendments already have the support of over 80 MEPs.

Voting

While it was previously thought that a majority of MEPs were behind the revision proposals, there are claims that the no-voters have been gaining ground. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, the countries behind the PFAS ban proposals, are clearly in favour of the ENVI committee proposals. Insiders suggest that the Central and Eastern European member states, many of whom are behind the new amendments, are ranged against them and there are still a number of “don’t knows”.

Related stories:

Industry offers counter F-gas proposals – 22 March 2023
EUROPE: Leading groups representing the HVAC, refrigeration and foam insulation sectors are calling on the European Parliament to take a practical approach in the upcoming vote on the F-gas revision. Read more…

Scientists back propane in heat pumps – 18 March 2023
SWEDEN: More than 40 scientists from across Europe have signed a position statement backing what they say is the proven superior efficiencies of hydrocarbon refrigerants in heat pumps. Read more…

German groups warn of refrigeration “extinction” – 9 March 2023
GERMANY: Industry groups are pleading with their members and their customers to urgently draw the attention of politicians to the “major problems” posed by the F-gas revision and PFAS proposals. Read more…

F-gas concessions fail to pacify manufacturers – 2 March 2023
EUROPE: The European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) has relaxed some of the equipment bans proposed in the EC’s F-gas revision but not enough to dispel industry concerns. Read more…

“Pause for thought,” says EPEE – 1 March 2023
BELGIUM: EPEE has urged the European Parliament to pause for thought before pressing ahead with the F-gas bans voted for by its environment committee. Read more…

Enviro committee backs “ambitious” F-gas revision – 1 March 2023
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. Read more…

Euro vote a major setback for heat pumps – 1 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 vote – 1 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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