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EU Parliament approves fast phasedown of HFCs


Washington, DC, 12 March 2014 – A phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in new air-conditioning and refrigeration was overwhelming approved by the European Parliament today, and will achieve a 79% reduction by 2030. The vote was 644 in favor, 19 opposed, with 16 abstentions. The final approval by the Council of Ministers is scheduled April 14th.

“Europe’s strong HFC phasedown adds tremendous momentum to the global phasedown of HFCs through the Montreal Protocol”, said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for “The Montreal Protocol HFC phasedown will be the biggest, fastest climate mitigation available to the world in the near term, avoiding the equivalent of 100 billion tons of CO2 by 2050 and up to a half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. Success under the Montreal Protocol will in turn provide critical momentum for the UN climate negotiations, which are aiming for a new climate treaty next year, to take effect in 2020.”

Lead Member of Parliament Bas Eickhout stated, “This EU breakthrough sets the pace for a global phase-out of these ‘super greenhouse’ gases, which would otherwise account for 20% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. F-gas emissions have risen by 60% since 1990 in the EU. Banning their use in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment is therefore urgently necessary to reverse this trend.”

The EU legislation primarily targets HFCs, which are used as cooling agents and have a global warming potential up to 23,000 times more than CO2. There are many existing alternatives to HFCs that are safer for the climate and more cost-effective, and the new legislation will motivate further innovations that leads to additional climate friendly cooling agents.

The European Parliament’s adopted text is here (currently in French only).

The European Parliament’s press release is here.

IGSD’s Primer on HFCs is here.