F-gas proposals would impact EU climate targets

EUROPE: Industry groups from Europe and Japan have condemned F-gas amendments proposed by lead rapporteur Bas Eickhout, saying they would jeopardise the wider EU climate and energy targets.

In the rapporteur’s draft report published last month, Bas Eickhout called for a number of outright bans on fluorinated gases, including HFCs and HFOs. In addition to an outright ban on fluorinated gases in smaller split air conditioners and split heat pump equipment, the proposals seek to limit the use of fluorinated refrigerants with a GWP of under 750 to systems from 12kW to 200kW from January 1 2027. Fluorinated refrigerants would be banned outright from split systems of over 200kW from the same date. A stricter phase down than the European Commission’s F-gas revision document was also proposed. 

The joint industry statement is signed by the European contractors group AREA and manufacturing associations ASERCOM, EPEE, EHPA and Eurovent, the Spanish air conditioning association AFEC, the Japanese Business Council in Europe (JBCE) and Japanese AC and refrigeration body JRAIA.

In it, the co-signatories insist they share the EU’s Green Deal ambition to accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality by 2050, but says that to achieve that goal, a “careful balance” was needed between reducing emissions from HFCs and reducing emissions by installing more heat pumps. 

“The amendments put forward by the rapporteur would jeopardise energy saving targets and strengthen the European dependence on fossil fuel sources in the next years,” the statement says.


Perhaps significant is the use of the word “balance”, the same word used by Bas Eickhout in addressing yesterday’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) committee meeting in Brussels. The statement is dated Monday (November 7) and it is not known whether Eickhout was aware of its contents before his speech, yesterday, when he said that he recognised that the “right balance” needed to be found between the move to natural alternatives and the need for the increased take up of heat pumps.

The joint industry statement repeats previous observations that achieving the 2030 targets and the REPowerEU action plan to rapidly wean the EU off fossil fuel imports will require the installation of millions of new heat pumps throughout Europe in the coming years. 

“The HFC phase down path and the bans on F-gases in heat pumps proposed by the rapporteur’s draft ENVI Report need to be adjusted to achieve the decarbonisation of the sector,” the statement says.

“We call on Members of European Parliament to strongly reject the proposed amendments on the HFC phase down path as well as Annex IV bans on key technologies, particularly heat pumps.”

Published : 14-Nov-2022

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