European Environment Agency (EEA)

Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2013


Courtesy of Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

Aggregated data reported by companies on the production, import and export of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union.

Background and policy

The greenhouse gases (GHGs) covered by the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol include three groups of fluorinated GHGs (the so-called 'F-gases'): hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). These F-gases have a high to very high global warming potential (GWP). 

Many F-gases are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, in the context of their phase-out promoted by the Montreal Protocol and Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 (1) on ozone depleting substances. Accordingly, the use of F-gases is increasing in many different applications and thus has a considerable growth potential. F-gases accounted for approximately 2 % of EU-27 overall GHG emissions in 2012 (2), and this share has been on the increase since the1990s.

The EU-15 had a target under the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol to reduce the whole basket of GHGs — including F-gases — by 8 % by 2012. To comply with this target, the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) identified cost-effective measures. One of these proposed measures resulted in Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 (the 'old' F-Gas Regulation) (3). Following a review of the adequacy of the 'old' F-Gas Regulation, and in the context of the Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in Europe in 2050 (4), a revision of the 'old' F-Gas Regulation was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in 2014 (5) (the 'new' F-Gas Regulation, Regulation (EU) No 517/2014). The 'new' F-Gas Regulation aims to reduce EU F-gas emissions by two thirds of the 2010 level by 2030.

The 'new' F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 maintains many measures of the 'old' F-Gas Regulation 842/2006, in particular related to leak prevention, recovery, certification of technicians and selected restrictions on the use and marketing of F-gases. However, additional large reductions in F-gas use and emissions are on one hand expected from a novel measure, the 'phase down', which will progressively cap allowed sales of HFCs on the EU market. The new Regulation also introduced a number of new bans of F-gases with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) in specific sectors. 

Reporting under the 'new' F-Gas Regulation will only happen as of from 2015 onwards and thus the present report only summarises the data reported by companies according to Article 6 of the 'old' F-Gas Regulation. This report includes information on the quantities produced, imported and exported, as well as related data such as the net supply to the market and main intended applications of the F-gases. Imports and exports of F-gases contained  in products and equipment are not covered by this reporting obligation.

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