EUROPE: Proposals to accelerate the phase down of refrigerants under the European F-gas regulations could see the current allowable quota slashed by around 50% in 2024.
It is known that within the proposals being formulated for the impending revision of the F-gas regulations is a desire to accelerate the phase down of fluorinated gases to meet Europe’s climate neutrality ambitions by 2050 and a requirement to bring the regulation into line with the Montreal Protocol.
Under the current regulation, European member states will phase down production and consumption of HFCs to 21% of the 2015 levels in 2030. The Cooling Post believes that the yet-to-be-published revision proposals will aim for a phase down to around 5% in 2030, eventually dropping to 2.38% by 2048.
The most immediate dramatic change is the possibility of a near 50% cut in quotas in 2024. The current F-gas regulation has the quota for 2022 and 2023 at 45% of the 2015 baseline, with a drop to 31% in 2024. The revision documents are thought to propose a reduction in 2024 to 23.6% – a cut of 47.56%.
This would be followed by an even larger percentage step down in 2027 when, under the new proposal, the quota would be cut to just 10.01%.
It is unclear what other measures may be included in the proposals, which are due to be published in April. DG CLIMA, the European Commission’s directorate-general for climate action, is said to have considered a large list of possible measures, discarded some and kept some as options. It is also not known whether demands from both industry and environmental groups to include certification and training of operatives on the use of “natural” refrigerants have been included.
The proposals will be put before the European parliament later this year.
The UK has previously indicated that it would follow the F-gas regulations and could go further. A spokesperson for Defra, the UK government department responsible, told the Cooling Post: “We are undertaking our own review of the F-gas regulations, and this process is ongoing. “We will be considering any potential new measures as part of a detailed impact assessment and formal consultation process later this year.”