Country:European Union
Policy status:In Force
Date Effective:2015
Policy Type:Regulatory Instruments>Monitoring, Regulatory Instruments>Codes and standards
Policy Target:Industry

Fluorinated gases (‘F-gases’) are powerful greenhouse gases used in industrial applications, with a global warming effect up to 23 000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2). The EU has taken early action to address their effects by adopting a Regulation in 2006. The 2006 Regulation succeeded in stabilising EU F-gas emissions at 2010 levels.

A new Regulation, which replaces the first and applies from 1 January 2015, strengthens the existing measures and introduces a number of novelties. A key measure is the setting-up of an EU phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as from 2015, the most frequently used F-gases and therefore the most relevant from a climate perspective. Additional measures include bans on certain uses and on new equipment containing or relying on F-gases where alternatives are available.

The Regulation envisages that by 2030 it will cut the EU’s F-gas emissions by two-thirds compared with 2014 levels. This represents a fair and cost-efficient contribution by the F-gas sector to the EU's objective of cutting its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% of 1990 levels by 2050.

The expected cumulative emission savings are 1.5 Gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2030 and 5 Gigatonnes by 2050. The latter number is more than the CO2 produced by a billion return flights from Paris to New York and more than the sum of all greenhouse gas emitted in the EU during one year.

The new legislation will stimulate innovation and green growth and jobs by encouraging the use of green technologies based on less climate-harmful alternatives.

On 15 October 2016 the 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer adopted the Kigali amendment which adds HFCs to the list of controlled substances, envisaging a step-wise reduction of their consumption and production at global level. The HFC phase-down anticipated the global agreement to reduce production and consumptionof HFCs under the Montreal Protocol as amended in Kigali in 2016.

This record supersedes:Regulation of HFCs, PFCs and SF6

Last modified: Fri, 05 May 2017 18:04:24 CEST