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Europe votes to move away from fluorinated refrigerants

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has agreed to amendments to the F-gas regulation that will see bans on fluorinated gases in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment over the next five years. It signals a major move away from synthetic gases and towards natural alternatives.

“We are making the prospects of phasing out F-gases more ambitious,” says Greens/European Free Alliance MP Bas Eickhout. “Europe has indicated that we want to be climate neutral by 2050. Well, that means that F-gases should be eradicated. The end-game is very clear to all the markets.

“To speed up the end of F-gases, we are putting bans for specific sectors like refrigeration, like air conditioning, like heat pumps.”

Eickhout notes that the goal is not only to phase out HFCs, but also new-generation refrigerants such as HFOs that break down to create PFAS.

The bans for fluorinated refrigerants in different equipment classes are shown in the table below.

Plug-in room, monoblock and other self-contained air conditioning and heat pump equipment that contain F-gasesJanuary 1, 2026
Single split systems including fixed double-duct systems containing less than 3kg of F-gasesJanuary 1, 2027
Split systems of a rated capacity of up to and including 12kW containing F-gasesJanuary 1, 2028
Split systems of a rated capacity of more than 12kW and up to 200kW containing, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 750 or more, except when required to meet safety standardsJanuary 1, 2028
Split systems of a rated capacity of more than 200kW containing F-gasesJanuary 1, 2028
Stationary refrigerators and freezers for commercial use (self-contained equipment)January 1, 2024
Any self-contained stationary refrigeration equipment that contains F-gasesJanuary 1, 2025
Stationary refrigeration equipment, that contains F-gases with GWP of 2,500 or more except equipment intended for application designed to cool products to temperatures below -50°CJanuary 1, 2025
Stationary refrigeration equipment that contains-gasesJanuary 1, 2027

The ENVI Committee report will now go before the full European Parliament.

“That’s what we are putting on the table,” says Eickhout, “with a more ambitious schedule than what the commission has proposed. Let’s see that the parliament is putting that ambition now also into the negotiations with the council.”

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