The Council and Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on phasing out substances that contribute to global warming and ozone layer depletion. This agreement covers fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).

For F-gases, the agreement outlines the following key points:

  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will be phased out completely by 2050, with production rights phased down to a minimum (15%) by 2036.

  • Quotas for both production and consumption of HFCs will be reduced according to a tight schedule.

  • Certain products and equipment containing HFCs will be banned from the market, including some refrigerators, chillers, foams, and aerosols.

  • Heat pumps and air conditioning containing HFCs with a high global warming potential will face bans starting in 2027 and 2035, respectively.

  • Medium and high voltage switchgears relying on F-gases will be banned by 2030 and 2032, respectively, with some exceptions.

  • Bans on equipment needed for servicing existing equipment will be introduced gradually, with exemptions for reclaimed or recycled gases.

  • The HFC quota allocation price is set at €3, with revenues covering administrative costs and contributing to the EU budget.

  • An extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for F-gases in certain electrical and electronic equipment will be implemented from 2028.

  • Member states will establish penalties for infringements, including fines, product confiscation, and trade bans, in line with environmental regulations.

Regarding ODSs:

  • ODSs are prohibited in almost all cases, with limited exemptions for feedstock production, laboratories, and specific applications like military equipment and airplanes.

  • The requirement to recover ODSs for destruction, recycling, or reclamation will be extended to cover various equipment types.

  • Undertakings will need to take precautions to prevent ODS leaks and promptly repair any detected leaks.

These provisional agreements will undergo further review by member states and the Parliament's environment committee before formal adoption and publication in the EU's Official Journal, after which they will become legally binding.

Some background:

On April 5, 2022, the European Commission proposed regulations addressing fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). The Parliament adopted its stance on the proposal on March 30, 2023, and the Council agreed on a general approach on April 5, 2023. 

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