Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks welcomed the European Union's decision to drastically reduce the import, production and sale of fluorinated gases (F-gases). The European Parliament's Environment Committee on the today approved the outcome of the negotiations between Council, Parliament and Commission on the new Regulation which is to decrease the use of fluorinated gases by 80% by 2030. "That is good news in terms of climate action. I am hoping that others will follow suit at international level", said Ms Hendricks.
Innovative German enterprises will also benefit from this new regulation. "Many companies are already able to apply climate-friendly alternatives. Now we are sending out an early signal to the remaining industry to modernise."
Fluorinated greenhouse gases are used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, but also as a blowing agent in insulating foam or fire extinguishers. Their greenhouse gas potential exceeds that of CO2 by 100 to 22,000 times. The worldwide share of fluorinated gases in the greenhouse effect currently amounts to 2 percent and therefore equals that of global aviation. Recent studies predict a significant increase in the use of fluorinated gases if no additional measures are taken. International negotiations on limiting the use have produced no results so far.
The new EU regulation now aims to reduce the amount of fluorinated gases in Europe gradually by around 80% by 2030. Quotas will be introduced to help to achieve this target. The regulation also contains a detailed plan to phase out many products and equipment using fluorinated gases. Following approval by the Environment Committee, the European Parliament and the Council also have to agree to the new Regulation.