Review of EU rules on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

Date: 03 July 2020
Review of EU rules on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

Fluorinated greenhouse gases are used in particular in refrigeration and air conditioning. Emissions from such gases contribute to climate change. In 2014, the EU made new strict rules that will reduce EU emissions significantly. In the light of the European Green Deal and Climate Law, recent international obligations under the Montreal Protocol, technical progress and lessons learned during the implementation, the European Commission is now preparing a review of the F-Gas Regulation that may result in a proposal for revision by the end of 2021.

Combined EC evaluation roadmap /Inception Impact Assessment

The EC has published (29 June 2020) a combined evaluation roadmap/Inception Impact Assessment evaluating how the F-Gas regulation has affected the market and the progress made in avoiding F-Gas use and at what cost this was achieved.

This document aims to inform stakeholders about the Commission's work in order to allow them to provide feedback on the intended initiative and to participate effectively in future consultation activities. Stakeholders are invited to provide views on the Commission's understanding of the current situation, problem and possible solutions and to make available any relevant information that they may have, including on possible impacts of the different options.

It is also to be noted that this combined roadmap/Inception Impact Assessment is provided for information purposes only. It does not prejudge the final decision of the Commission on whether this initiative will be pursued or on its final content. All elements of the initiative described by this document, including its timing, are subject to change.

The feedback period of this consultation is from 29 June 2020 to 7 September 2020.

Findings of the EC evaluation roadmap /Inception impact assessment

EU F-Gas emissions have increased by 60% since 1990 and currently amount to 2,5% of overall EU greenhouse gas emissions. While the existing rules in place can already achieve significant emission reductions, the EU should update the rules in the light of the European Green Deal objectives, recent international obligations (cf. Kigali Amendment), technical progress made and lessons learned during the implementation. While the current rules contribute to more climate-friendly technologies and the achievement of an international agreement on HFCs, some challenges need to be tackled:

  • The EU will be at risk of becoming non-compliant with the Montreal Protocol after 2030.
  • The recent technological development may permit further emission savings in support of reaching the European Green Deal objectives more easily.
  • There are some challenges related to the implementation and enforcement of the Regulation.

Objectives and Policy options

The baseline is maintaining the current Regulation without changes. The policy options will depend on the findings of the evaluation and are expected to include the following:

  • Seeking alignment with the Montreal Protocol (e.g. Add new phase-down steps beyond 2030 to the existing phase-down)
  • Raising ambition in line with European Green Deal (e.g. Increase phase-down ambition in line with technological development)
  • Improve implementation and enforcement

Follow-up, timeline and consultation strategy

The stakeholder consultations will focus on to what extent the F-Gas Regulation is working well, the need to review it, the choice of policy options and expected impacts. The outcome of the following consultation activities will be summarised in a report:

  • Feedback period: 29 June – 7 September 2020
  • Single online public consultation which will run for 14 weeks in Q3/2020.
  • Stakeholder workshop in Q1/2021 to receive feedback on preliminary findings of the Evaluation and Impact Assessment
  • Q2/2021 Completion of the Evaluation & Impact Assessment
  • Q4/2021 Proposal for a revision

Commission reports to become available under the F-Gas Regulation

By 1 July 2020: Report assessing availability of cost-effective, technically feasible, energy-efficient and reliable alternatives.

By 31 December 2020: Report on the availability of hydrofluorocarbons on the Union market.

Recommended actions

The Roadmap is open for feedback until 7 September 2020. The Feedback should be formulated in up to 4.000 characters and can be complemented with an attachment.

In order to provide the EC with a consolidated written feedback, the Eurovent members are asked to provide the Eurovent Secretariat with their written input by Friday, 31 July 2020.

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