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F-gas revision will prolong reliance on fossil fuels

EUROPE: The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) has expressed its disappointment with the F-gas regulation revision and says it will prolong the reliance on fossil fuels.

EPEE, which represents the European refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry, said in its statement that the decision, while enhancing containment measures and offering a flexible quota for heat pumps, introduces “ill-considered bans on all F-gases” that will prolong Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Russell Patten, EPEE’s director general, pointed out that EPEE had always been in agreement with the principles and goals of the F-gas regulation, but added: “We believe this agreement will be challenging for the sector to implement given certain unclear provisions linked to the bans.”

He expressed concern that these elements will send contradictory messages to the market and work against the wider contributions F-gases make to decarbonisation. 

“Enhanced containment measures, including leak checks and recovery and recycling procedures, will go a long way to support the HFC phase down,” said Patten. “Unfortunately, unclear definitions and a complicated quota system add further uncertainty for RACHP equipment manufacturers, especially for heat pumps.”

EPEE said it had attempted, with many other industry groups over many months, to urge an energy efficiency- and safety-first approach, and to encourage a proper impact assessment for the wide diversity of the RACHP market, in particular for split-type heat pumps, but also for chillers, air conditioning, and dozens of other applications across the market.

“The European Parliament became dogmatic in its insistence of a full F-gas ban, including ultra-low GWP HFOs and their blends, that is not evidence-based,” said Patten. “Certainly some applications are appropriate for so-called “natural” refrigerants, but not all, and an F-gas ban will put decarbonisation opportunities at risk. This agreement will undoubtedly prolong our reliance on fossil fuels.”

EPEE expressed hope that industry’s concerns are considered in the final voting stage, and called for the same ambitious approach to be applied to the EPBD and Ecodesign files to decarbonize the rest of the heating industry and break the endless cycle of fossil fuels. “We hope that as industry we can be involved in the next steps to support an effective implementation,” said Patten.

Related stories:

Europe agrees F-gas deal5 October 2023
EUROPE: The European Parliament and Council has reached a provisional deal which will see specific bans on the use of HFCs and HFOs and a complete phase out of F-gases by 2050. Read more…

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