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CLIMATE CHANGE : FLUORINATED GASES: FIRST EP-COUNCIL SKIRMISHES.

Although the Council and Parliament are in full agreement on the importance of coming to a final decision in a single reading, the first meeting, on 7 October, of the interinstitutional three-way talks on the draft regulation on fluorinated gases - COM(2012)643 - organised by the Lithuanian Presidency brought to light the extent of the divergences between the two parties.

Last June, MEPs seriously tightened up the draft regulation by calling for an 84% reduction of the general use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) by 2030 and their prohibition in new air conditioners and refrigerators from 2020. They wish to introduce a ban on fluorinated gases between 2015 and 2020 in several new sectors, for which other solutions, safer and effective from an energy and economic point of view, are possible. Another area of disagreement is the level of fees imposed on producers and importers (up to 10 per tonne of CO2 equivalent) to benefit from annual quotas for the HFC they need during the transition period, whereas the Commission proposed free quotas for chemical companies that already produce HFCs.

The Council stresses the necessity of working out a "reasonable and economically effective" solution with the regulation. Discussions are expected to focus on the scope of the regulation, questions of certification, prohibition and/or restrictions for certain equipment and materials, air conditioning equipment, the problem of confinement and the question of fees.

The next three-way talks are set for early November. Meanwhile, several technical meetings will be held to try to clear the ground.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Oct 25, 2013
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