F-Gas regulation : European Council and Parliament reach provisional agreement
After several months of discussion, the two European bodies have reached a provisional agreement aimed at further reducing fluorinated gas emissions, in line with the EU's climate objectives.
On October 5, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union indicated in press releases* that they had reached a provisional agreement on the reduction in the production and consumption of fluorinated gases.
The provisional agreement calls for HFC consumption to be completely phased out by 2050 and for production to be phased down to 15% as of 2036. Both production and consumption will be phased down based on a tight schedule of decreasing quota allocation. A re-evaluation is planned in 2040, to verify the feasibility of this schedule.
Details of the agreement are not yet known, but some information is given in the Council’s press release:
- Small (< 12 kW) monobloc heat pumps and air conditioners using F-gases with a GWP of at least 150 will be banned from 2027. A complete phase-out is scheduled in 2032. Regarding “split” air conditioners and heat pumps, a total ban will take effect from 2035, with shorter deadlines for certain types of equipment with higher GWP. Exemptions are provided for in cases where such equipment is needed to meet safety requirements. The provisional agreement also includes the possibility to release a limited number of additional quotas for heat pumps in the event that the proposed bans jeopardise the achievement of the heat pump deployment target required under REPowerEU.
- Maintenance equipment for refrigeration equipment using fluorinated greenhouse gases with high global warming potential will be prohibited from 2025, unless the gases are recycled. In this case, they could benefit from an exemption until 2032.
The provisional text provides that member states shall set rules on effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to infringements. The penalties should include at least fines, confiscation of products, temporary exclusion of products from public procurement and temporary trade bans. They should be compatible with the Environmental Crime Directive and with national legal systems. They should be above a set minimum quantitative threshold if member states decide to set a threshold.
The provisional agreement will now be submitted to the Member States’ representatives within the Council and to the Parliament’s Environment Committee for endorsement. If approved, the text will then have to be formally adopted by both institutions, before it can be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force.