The European Parliament has adopted a position to revise the EU's legislative framework on fluorinated gases (F-gases) emissions, with the aim of reducing F-gas emissions to meet EU and global climate goals. MEPs want to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on the EU market from 2039 onwards and achieve a full HFC production and consumption phase-out by 2050.
They also want to strengthen the requirements for products containing F-gases and to tackle illegal activities related to their trade. The results of the vote were: 426 votes in favour, 109 against and 52 abstentions.
The next step will be negotiations with the EU Council to finalize the legislation.
These gases have a significant impact on the environment, being up to 24,000 times more damaging than CO2, used in common appliances, and are responsible for 2.5% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Parliament's decision means that from 2024, only 23.6% of the amount of F-gases used in 2015 will be allowed on the market, decreasing to 11% from 2027 and steadily approaching zero by 2050.
The move has been welcomed by lawmakers aiming to meet the EU's 2030 climate goals, but it has been criticized by some business groups, including the heat pump industry, which has lobbied against the changes. The industry has argued that the transition to non-fluorinated alternatives may present safety risks, such as the flammability of alternatives like propane. Nonetheless, European lawmakers believe that these rules will be beneficial to European companies, as many are already at the forefront of developing non-fluorinated alternatives.