European Commission Adopts New Regulation Eliminating 500 Million Tonnes of CO2-equivalent Emissions
Listen to this story:
The European Commission welcomes today’s adoption of strengthened rules on the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS), which currently represent over 3 percent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the conclusion of the legislative process today, one more piece of the EU Green Deal has been completed. Today’s endorsement marks an important step towards reaching the EU’s 2030 climate goals and climate neutrality by 2050; it will eliminate an additional 500 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2050, which is comparable to the combined annual emissions of France and Belgium.
The new rules will eliminate the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the most common F-gases, by 2050.Under the new regulations, the existing quota levels have been significantly reduced, further limiting imports and production of HFCs year-on-year. By 2030 HFCs placed on the market in the EU will be phased down by 95% below 2015 levels, and will be completely phased out by mid-century. The rules will also restrict the use of all F-gases in equipment where climate-friendly alternatives are available, such as heat pumps, switchgear for energy transmission or products used in the health sector. New obligations will also reduce F-gas and ODS emissions from insulation foams in old buildings and those under renovation. These pioneering rules should serve as a positive examplefor our partners around the world and stimulate similar action on these gases in other countries.
Driving Green Investments
To stimulate exports of climate-friendly equipment and ensure harmful products are not put on the global market, the new measures on F-gases will ensure that obsolete equipment using refrigerants with a high global warming potential may not be exported from the EU.
Related Article: EU Freezes F-Gases, Paving Way for Cleaner Future
The agreement sends a clear signal to manufacturers of products that traditionally use F-gases to steer their investments towards climate-friendly alternatives wherever feasible. This will stimulate innovation and the development of clean technologies. Prices are expected to go down as the market for climate-friendly equipment expands, and the new equipment will typically lead to more energy savings from higher energy efficiency over the products’ lifetime.
New measures to better enforce these rules and monitor the market will facilitate customs and surveillance authorities to control imports and exports, and crack down on the illegal trade of gases and related equipment.