EU plan to ban HFCs comes under attack

Published:  04 July, 2013

F Gas Regulation, HFC
Under pressure — HFCs such as R410A could be banned in the EU from 2020. (Photo: A-Gas)

Plans by the European Parliament’s environment committee to ban HFC refrigerants in air-conditioning, heat pumps and refrigeration from 2020 have received an unwelcoming response from the industry. Refrigerants in the firing line include R410A, R407C and R134a. FETA, the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, says that the environment committee has exploited a procedural loophole to deny the majority of MEPs any chance to influence their proposals to ament the F-gas Regulation.

The FETA statement says, ‘By voting to give their rapporteur a mandate to begin immediate negotiations with the European Council they have side-stepped the normal process of permitting all MEPs an open discussion on the amendments at an initial reading in plenary session of the EP.

Effectively, this provides the rapporteur carte blanche to horse trade with member states behind closed doors. He will be armed with a range of unpalatable measures, such as banning HFC refrigerants in air conditioning from 2020.

‘This callous act of political expediency should be seen in the context of a desire by Brussels to attend the Montreal Protocol meeting in November with a severe European agreement to phase down HFCs — in the mistaken belief that other nations would follow their ill-advised lead.’

The European Partnership for Energy & the Environment (EPEE) has also expressed concern. Director General Andrea Voigt said, ‘We are very disappointed that the environment committee has chosen the course of command and control politics with the highest price tag that Europeans will have to pay for.’

HFCs have a substantial GWP (global-warming potential), and she explains that the industry has supported an ambitious climate-change law to radically reduce F-gas emissions by 65% by 2030. ‘We also supported innovative market mechanisms to achieve this reduction which balanced environmental ambition and cost effectiveness.’

While EPEE members are always looking for the optimal refrigerant solution, the organisation comments, ‘There is no perfect refrigerant suitable for all applications, so laws need to be flexible to be able to cope with the many technologies and sectors involved.’



comments powered by Disqus

Search

Welcome

Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

When you go to our digital edition, you can also access the archive of digital editions.
August 2018: DIGITAL EDITION

ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL EDITIONS

Modern Building services has a group
on Linkedin - join us!

BESA conference 2018

Jobs

  • Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Engineer

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

  • Engineering Technical Assistant

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

  • Mechanical Engineer

      Coventry University is a dynamic, modern university with a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on applied research. The University ranked 13th in the Guardian University Guide 2019 and was voted ‘Modern University of the......

more jobs »

Poll

"Is the Building Services industry lagging behind in the implementation of BIM?"



Calendar