Fluorinated gas (F gas) emissions in 1995 in the European Community were 65m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent to 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Community and, if unchecked, are forecast to increase to 98m tonnes by 2010. These proposals are expected to reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases by 23m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2010, and an even greater reduction thereafter since some of the provisions (eg mobile air conditioning) will not have a significant impact until then.
The EC and member states have ratified the Kyoto Protocol which requires industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gases by 5.2% below their 1990 level for the period 2008 to 2012. The EC has committed to an even larger reduction of 8% for this period.
These proposals are the first of two stages in the regulation and containment of F gases:
The measures in these proposals are to be reviewed by the EC & a report published by the end of 2007. Further and more stringent measures could then be taken if required.
|Kgs of F gas in equipment||Inspection frequency pa|
* not applicable to hermetically sealed systems containing <6 Kgs
The sale of HFCs in disposable cylinders will be banned with effect from 4 July 2007. Disposable cylinders filled with HFCs prior to this date can be placed on the market after 4 July 2007.
There is a requirement for all owners of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment and fire protection systems containing 3 Kgs or more of F gases to maintain records which should include:
By 31 March 2008, producers, importers & exporters exceeding one tonne pa must report to the EC annually on production, imports, exports, recycling and destruction of F gases which shall also include applications and expected emissions over the life cycle of the substance.
HFCs will be banned in this application which includes self-chilling drink cans and any other system where the act of cooling results in the refrigerant being released to atmosphere.
F gases must be recovered for recycling, reclamation and destruction from all equipment including refillable & non-refillable gas containers.
Programmes will be required to provide for the training and certification of personnel involved in making leakage inspection systems and also for those involved in recycling, reclamation and destruction of F gases.
Although operators must comply with the requirement to hold the necessary certification by July 2007, Member States have until July 2008 to establish their own minimum certification requirements. Informally, the EC has indicated that current certification criteria are used in the intervening period.
4 July 2006 with the control measures 12 months later
By July 2011, the EC will publish a report which will in effect assess the effectiveness of these regulations in practice & where necessary present further proposals to reduce emissions.
Member States may promote the placing on the market of alternatives to HFCs with low GWPs which are efficient, innovative & further reduce the climate impact.
|Leakage test introduced||4 July 2008|
|HFC134a leakage rates in existing vehicles||4 July 2008|
|HFC134a leakage rates in new vehicles||4 July 2009|
|HFC134a banned in new models||2011|
|HFC134a banned in all vehicles||2017|