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ENVIRONMENT : COUNCIL-EP AGREEMENT ON GRADUAL REDUCTION OF F-GASES.

It may not be perfect, but the agreement that was reached on 16 December between the Council and the European Parliament on the gradual reduction of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems is a step in the right direction for the climate. This would be because these gases - which were created to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are destroying the ozone layer - have a global warming potential (GWP) up to 14,000 times higher than CO2.

The agreement is expected to be ratified on 18 December by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), then by Parliament before it is definitively adopted by Council.

The agreement will introduce a gradual 79% reduction of HFCs so that the volume of products on the market in 2030 does not exceed 21% in relation to the current levels. All HFCs on the market will be capped from 2015 and reduced to 93% (2016-2017), 63% (2018-2020), 45% (2021-2023), 31% (2024-2026), 24% (2027-2029) and 21% in 2030.

In addition to this global reduction, the agreement also completely bans the use of fluorinated gases in certain equipment and products. This is also the case for flame retardants from 2016 and new equipment on the market, such as refrigeration equipment and freezers, from 2015. For the same equipment - but for commercial use - it will be set by 2020 or 2020 according to their GWP and will not be able to be used for maintaining refrigeration equipment from 2020. The same applies for air-conditioning equipment for which the ban will be in effect from 2020 or 2025 according to the specificities of the devices.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Jan 10, 2014
Words:268
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