EU agreement on FGas Regulations
5th October 2023
Breaking News: EU Council and Parliament Reach Historic Agreement on FGas!
In a monumental step towards combating climate change, negotiators from the EU Council and Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement to phase down substances that contribute to global warming and deplete the ozone layer. This agreement marks the finalisation of negotiations on Fgases and confirms an informal agreement established in June on ozone depleting substances.
Recognizing the pressing need to protect our planet’s health, the new rules go beyond the existing EU legislation, which has already limited the use of these gases significantly. The agreement aims to further reduce emissions into the atmosphere, contributing to the crucial task of limiting global temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement.
Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, expresses her enthusiasm for the agreement. She states “I am extremely satisfied with the agreement that we reached today on fluorinated gases, which goes hand-in-hand with the work we have carried out on ozone depleting substances. Such substances have highly negative impacts on the health of our planet and must be phased down. The agreement is an important step in our common goal to fight climate change and will help us reach our ambitious climate goals.”
The key highlights of the provisional agreement:
- Substantial Reduction in Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC): The agreement sets a goal to completely phase out the consumption of HFCs by 2050 and significantly decrease their production by a minimum 15% by 2036.
- Expansion of Bans: The agreement introduces bans on the placement of products and equipment containing HFCs on the market for several categories, including domestic refrigerators, chillers, foams, and aerosols. It also extends bans to products that utilize F-gases with a lower global-warming potential.
- Targeted Bans on Heating and Cooling Equipment:
- Monoblock heat pumps and air conditioning units with F-gases need to be below 150GWP by 2027 and face a phase out of F-gases by 2032.
- Split air conditioning and heat pumps will be subject to a ban starting in 2035, with earlier deadlines for specific systems with higher global-warming potential. Exemptions are foreseen in case equipment is needed to meet safety requirements. There is also potential to release additional quotes for heat pumps as to not restrict the roll out of this technology.
- Starting from 2025, the maintenance of refrigeration equipment using F-gases that have a significant impact on global warming will be prohibited, unless these gases are reclaimed or recycled. If the gases are reclaimed or recycled, there will be an exception to this ban until 2030.
- Similarly, from 2026, servicing equipment for air conditioning and heat pump systems will be subject to a comparable ban, unless reclaimed or recycled gases are used, in which case there will be an exception until 2032.
- As for stationary refrigeration equipment designed to cool products below -50°C, a ban on using F-gases with lower global warming potential will come into effect in 2032. However, a permanent exception will be granted if recycled or reclaimed gases are utilized.
- The price for allocating HFCs quotas is established at €3, with the possibility of adjustment for inflation. A portion of the generated revenues will be directed towards covering the administrative expenses associated with implementing the F-gas Regulation, while the remaining funds will be allocated to the general EU budget.
- Penalties and Safeguards: Member states will implement effective penalties for infringement, including fines, confiscation of products, and temporary trade bans. The agreement also includes safeguards to avoid jeopardizing the functioning of electric grids and offers exemptions based on safety concerns.
The provisional agreements will be presented to member states representatives within the Council and the Parliament’s environment committee for endorsement. Once approved, the text will undergo formal adoption and be published in the EU’s Official Journal before entering into force.
With the UK giving indications that it will likely follow the EU Fgas regulations (However coming into force from 2025) this is a monumental landmark decision for the future our industry.
To read the full press release from the Council of the European Union click here