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Europe forges ahead with HFC phase-out plan

The European Parliament and Council has taken the next – and what appears to be decisive – step towards a new and ambitious phase-out schedule for HFC refrigerants.

The deal includes specific phase-out dates for the use of fluorinated gases in sectors where it is “technologically and economically feasible to switch to alternatives”. This includes domestic refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps.

Under the deal, HFCs will be phased out by 2050, and until then there will be a trajectory in place to reduce the EU consumption quota, with strong interim limits on GWP in different categories of equipment. According to the European Parliament, this is intended to provide a clear market signal and align the updated rules with the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.

The agreement also covers strict conditions and deadlines for the use of fluorinated gases with high GWP for the servicing or maintenance of different types of equipment.

“We’ve reached an ambitious deal that would put an end to F-gases,” says Rapporteur Bas Eickhout.

“This is crucial, not only because these gases are extremely harmful for the climate, but we are also providing clarity for companies and thereby investment certainty. We are breaking the endless cycle of new chemical cocktails that risk dragging technologies like heat pumps and switchgear – which are key for our energy transition – into the PFAS-debate. European companies are already at the forefront of developing clean alternatives to F-gases, so this law will be good for the climate and the European economy.”

Parliament and Council need to formally approve the agreement before it can come into force, but it is unlikely there will be major changes to the deal before it is approved.

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