EU agrees to phase out f-gases

18th December 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Life Cycle Analysis ,
  • Ecodesign ,
  • Products ,
  • EU ,
  • Air


Ruth Eady

Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment containing high levels of fluorinated gases (f-gases) are to be banned from sale and a cap placed on the sale of HFCs

The EU council, parliament and commission have agreed new legislation that will phase out the use of f-gases in equipment such as fridges and freezers from 1 January 2015 and limit the amount of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that can be sold within the bloc.

The Regulation, which is expected to be formally adopted early next year, bans the sale of commercial fridges and freezers containing HFCs with a global warming potential (GWP) of 2,500 – a warming effect 2,500 times stronger than the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide – from 1 January 2020, and those with a GWP of 150 from 1 January 2022.Centralised refrigeration systems with a capacity of 40kW and a GWP of 150 will also be banned from 2022.

Meanwhile stationary air conditioning systems containing less than 3kg of f-gases, but have a GWP of 750 will not be able to be sold from 2025.

The regulation includes similar bans on movable air conditioning devises, foams containing HFCs, technical aerosols and domestic equipment.

It also introduces a gradually declining cap on the amount of HFCs that can be sold in Europe from 2016-17. Under the Regulation, by 2030 the amount of HFCs being traded across the bloc will fall to 21% of the amount sold in 2009-2012.

F-gases are manmade greenhouse gases that have replaced ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons in cooling equipment and aerosols. However, they have a global warming effect that is up to 23,000 times more powerful than CO2 and, since 1990, f-gas emissions in Europe have increased 60%.

According to EU policymakers the new regulation will see f-gas emission from the bloc fall by two-thirds on today’s figures by 2030.

“The EU work on the reduction of f-gas emissions is an important signal in the context of the upcoming international negotiations under the Montreal Protocol and the UNFCC,” commented Valentinas Mazuronis, environment minister in Lithuania, which currently holds the presidency of the EU council.

Agreement on the new f-gas Regulation came as the European commission outlined its latest plans to tackle air pollution across the bloc, including proposals to revise the National Emission Ceilings Directive lowering limits on the amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) that member states can emit.

The commission has also proposed introducing a new directive aimed at reducing air pollution from medium-sized combustion plants with a capacity of 1-50MW. The directive, which would affect small industrial energy plants, would aim place limits on NOx, SO2 and PM emissions from both new and existing plants and involve a registration scheme.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Risks and opportunities of changing consumer demand

Consumers are flexing their purchasing power in support of more sustainable products and services. Dr Andrew Coburn, CEO of sustainability intelligence and analytics firm, Risilience, considers the risk of greenwashing and sets out three key steps businesses can take to avoid the pitfalls and meet the opportunities of changing consumer demand.

18th June 2024

Read more

Groundbreaking legislation on air and noise pollution and measures to tackle growing concerns over disposable vapes provide the focus for Neil Howe’s environmental legislation update

6th June 2024

Read more

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close