Refrigerants-related policies

F-Gas Regulation

Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are greenhouse gases with a strong global warming effect. 

To control those emissions, the EU adopted the 'F-gas Regulation'. The Regulation limits the total amount of the most important F-gases that can be sold in the EU from 2015 onwards and organises a phase-down in steps to one-fifth of 2014 sales in 2030. The Regulation also bans the use of F-gases in many new types of equipment where less harmful alternatives are widely available and prevents emissions of F-gases from existing equipment by requiring checks, proper servicing and recovery of the gases at the end of the equipment's life. 

In September 2018 the European Union ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to bring about a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - powerful greenhouse gases. Global implementation of the Kigali Amendment would prevent up to 80 billion tons CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050. This would make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement objective of limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2°C. The Kigali Amendment entered into force on 1 January 2019. For the objectives to be achieved effectively and cost-efficiently, all governments and relevant industries should already be taking action now to ensure that the most climate- friendly alternatives are being used. 

By the end of 2022, the European Commission must present a comprehensive review on the effects of the regulation, including: 

  • A forecast of the continued demand for hydrofluorocarbons up to and beyond 2030; 
  • An assessment of the need for further action by the Union and its Member States in light of existing and new international commitments regarding the reduction of fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions; 
  • An overview of European and international standards, national safety legislation and building codes in Member States in relation to the transition to alternative refrigerants; 
  • A review of the availability of technically feasible and cost-effective alternatives to products and equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases for products and equipment not listed in Annex III, considering energy efficiency. 

In that perspective, The Commission issued 3 reports: on SF6, on air-conditioning & on availability of HFC.

Since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the EU in February 2020, the United Kingdom has become a third country. However, during the transition period, which ends on 31 December 2020, the F-Gas Regulation continues to be applicable to and in the UK.