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Majority support for F-gas revision proposals

EUROPE: The European Commission’s proposals for an accelerated F-gas phase down are said to be supported by a majority of EU member states, despite being described by industry as unrealistic. 

The F-gas revision proposals, published in April last year, seek to restrict new split system air conditioners and heat pumps of up to 12kW to HFCs with GWPs of less than 150 from January 1, 2027. This would limit new products to a near zero GWP refrigerant, such as hydrocarbons, CO2 or HFOs. In addition, from the same date, new systems over 12kW would be restricted to refrigerants with a GWP of 750 or less. On top of that, the phase down would be accelerated and extended to bring it into line with the Kigali Amendment.

Industry groups have previously described these proposals as unrealistic both in terms of the speed of technological development and in terms of the number of installers that would need to be trained and certified to handle the new refrigerants. 

Despite receiving support from several member states, reports suggest a larger number of states  are against diluting the overall level of ambition of the proposals. However, the Commission concedes that further discussion will be necessary on other key elements of the proposal, such as the timeline for restrictions on the placing on the market of certain products and equipment and the introduction and level of a price for quotas for HFCs.

Many European countries are also reported to have expressed support for extending the regulation to include natural refrigerants and a number of proposed modifications have been tabled, in particular with regard to marketing restrictions and labelling.

It now seems the plenary vote will not happen until April 2023 at the earliest, but with the next phase down step coming in on January 1 next year, the states are keen for the F-gas proposal to enter into force this year.

Related stories:

All-propane heat pumps by 2027 “impossible” – 30 October 2022
BELGIUM: European industry group EPEE has called for a realistic HFC phase down in order to meet EU plans to move away from fossil fuels. Read more…

Euro green seeks total ban on F-gases – 18 October 2022
EUROPE: The European Parliament’s environmental committee’s rapporteur has called for an outright ban on HFC and HFO refrigerants in most common uses and an even steeper phase down. Read more…

Industry calls for rethink on F-gas proposals – 5 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…

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…

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…

F-gas revision promises steeper phase down – 13 March 2022
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. Read more…

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