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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Production, sales and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) / Production, sales and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) (CLIM 048) - Assessment published Mar 2014

Production, sales and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) (CLIM 048) - Assessment published Mar 2014

Indicator Assessment Created 25 Oct 2013 Published 11 Mar 2014 Last modified 18 Dec 2014, 09:59 AM
Topics: ,
 
Contents
 

Indicator definition

The indicator tracks trends since 1990 in anthropogenic emissions of the following fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), differentiated by HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

HFCs

PFCs

SF6

HFC-23

CF4

 

HFC-32

C2F6

 

HFC-41

C3F8

 

HFC-43-10mee

C4F10

 

HFC-125

c-C4F8

 

HFC-134

C5F12

 

HFC-134a

C6F14

 

HFC-152a

 

 

HFC-143

 

 

HFC-143a

 

 

HFC-227ea

 

 

HFC-236fa

 

 

HFC-245ca

 

 

The indicator also tracks trends since 2007 in the aggregated production, bulk imports, bulk exports and consumption of F-gases, differentiated, where available by HFCs, PFCs and SF6; additional F-gases compared to the emissions list are marked in bold.

HFCs

PFCs

SF6

HFC-23

CF4

 

HFC-32

C2F6

 

HFC-41

C3F8

 

HFC-43-10mee

C4F10

 

HFC-125

c-C4F8

 

HFC-134

C5F12

 

HFC-134a

C6F14

 

HFC-152a

 

 

HFC-143

 

 

HFC-143a

 

 

HFC-227ea

 

 

HFC-236cb

 

 

HFC-236ea

 

 

HFC-236fa

 

 

HFC-245ca

 

 

HFC-245fa

 

 

HFC-365mfc

 

 

‘Net supply’ is a parameter derived from company reporting under the F-Gas Regulation that provides information on the actual use of (bulk) F-gases by EU industries. Net supply is calculated by firstly adding reported amounts for:

  • production
  • imports (bulk imports only, imports contained in products or equipment are not considered in the reporting under the F-Gas Regulation)
  • stocks held on 1 January of the reporting year
  • ‘other amounts collected for reclamation or destruction from within the EU’,

and then subtracting the following reported amounts:

  • exports (bulk exports only, exports contained in products or equipment are not considered in the reporting under the F-Gas Regulation)
  • destruction (on-site by reporting companies and off-site within the EU on reporting companies’ behalf)
  • amounts used as feedstock by reporting companies
  • stocks held on 31 December of the reporting year.

 

Furthermore, the shares of intended applications of F-gas net supply in the latest available reporting year are given, differentiating between

  • refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • fire protection
  • aerosols
  • foams
  • electrical equipment
  • other, unknown or no information reported.

Units

Emissions: Mt CO2-eq (GWP SAR): Million tonnes of CO2 equivalents calculated with the global warming potentials (GWPs) as given in the IPCC 2nd Assessment Report.

Production, imports, exports & consumption: Mt CO2-eq (GWP AR4): Million tonnes of CO2 equivalents calculated with the global warming potentials (GWPs) as given in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report.

Intended applications: Percentages based on physical tonnage and GWP AR4 weighted tonnage, respectively.


Key policy question: What progress is being made in reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases?

Key messages

Since 1990, EU-27 F-gas emissions have experienced significant growth, more than offsetting an intermittent decrease between 1997 and 2001. While PFCs and SF6 emissions have been reduced to a significant degree, a major rise is observed for HFCs emissions which have almost tripled since 1990.

In addition to domestic EU production and net supply of F-gases, significant amounts of F-gases are also imported and exported. Production appears to stabilise slightly above 2008 levels after the sharp decline that was observed from 2007 to 2009. Imports of F-gases grew from 2007 to 2008, experienced a dip in the 'economic crisis' year of 2009 and have been on the decline since 2010. Similar to production data, exports (when measured in metric tonnes) appear to stabilise close to 2008 levels after the sharp decline that was observed from 2007 to 2009. When measured in CO2-equivalents, however, 2011 and 2012 export levels exceed the 2007 starting point, mainly due to increasing SF6 exports. Finally, the longer-term trend for EU net supply shows a stabilisation at levels which are close to the 'economic crisis' year 2009.

Context: Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) covered by the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol comprise hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). These F-gases typically have very long lifetimes in the atmosphere and high global warming potentials (GWPs). The gases are mostly produced for use in products and equipment in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, foams, fire protection etc. Emissions take place mainly due to leakage during the use phase or due to failure to fully recover the F-gases at the end of the product/equipment lifetime. Future F-gas emissions are thus largely determined by (i) present day use of F-gases and (ii) measures to prevent leakage and encourage recovery.

Fluorinated gases (F-gases) emissions

Chart
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Trend in the production, imports, exports and net supply of aggregated fluorinated gases (F-gases)

Chart
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Key assessment

Greenhouse gases covered by the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol include amongst others, three groups of fluorinated greenhouse gases (the so-called 'F-gases'):

  • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and
  • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

These F-gases typically have very long lifetimes in the atmosphere and high global warming potentials (GWPs). Many F-gases are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances (ODS) across various applications. As ozone-depleting substances are largely being phased out in the EU in compliance with the Montreal Protocol and the EU Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009, the future use of F-gases has a considerable potential for growth.

F-gases are mostly produced for use in products and equipment in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, foams, fire protection etc. Emissions take place mainly due to leakage and upon failure to fully recover the F-gases at the end of the product/equipment lifetime. Future F-gas emissions are thus largely determined by (i) the present day consumption of F-gases and (ii) technical measures to prevent leakage and encourage recovery.

The emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) in the EU-27 Member States rose steeply in the 1990s, before declining between 1997 and 2001. Since 2001, emissions have continued to rise steadily (Figure 1). In contrast to the general rising trend for EU-27 F-gas emissions as a whole, emissions of PFCs and SF6 have been considerably reduced, by 82 % and 41 % respectively since 1990. The overall growth in total F-gas emissions is therefore due to an increase in emissions of HFCs, whose main use is as refrigerants. HFC emissions have almost tripled since 1990 and more than doubled since 1995. The HFC share of total F-gas emissions has risen from 47 % in 1990 to 58 % in 1995, and to 89 % in 2011.

Several legislative instruments in the European Union target F-gases – for details see the indicator specification. Since 2007, data on the EU production, bulk imports, bulk exports and destruction of F-gases have been centrally collected. Imports and exports of F-gases contained in products (e.g. foams) or equipment (e.g. vehicles, air-conditioning equipment, medical dose inhalers, electrical equipment) are not included in the statistics. An overview of information is provided by EEA in its annual fluorinated greenhouse gases report. It should be noted that the assessment of trends is dependent upon the unit used to express the amounts of F-gases, i.e. physical metric tonnes or GWP-weighted tonnes (CO2‑equivalents). Statistics in metric tonnes reflects the use patterns of F-gases in absolute terms, while F-gas usage expressed as CO2-equivalents also reflects the potential relevance for climate change policy.

In total, 129 companies reported production, import or export of F-gases for 2012, an increase of 7 % on the previous year. When expressed in metric tonnes, key parameters for the reporting year 2012 show the following trends: similar production (+ 0.4 %) and export (+ 0.5 %) of F-gases; sharp decrease in imports (– 8 %) and slight decrease in EU net supply (1.1 %). When data is expressed in CO2‑equivalents however (Figure 2), the picture of trends is only slightly different; a distinct decrease is still observed for imported F-gases (10 %), and a slight decrease is evident for net supply (1.3 %). Export remains rather constant (0.4 %). A visible increase in production is observed compared to last year (+ 2.6 %).

Significant amounts of F-gases are imported and exported; the sum of imports into the EU and exports from the EU usually exceed domestic production. According to a 2011 study for the European Commission (Schwarz et al. 2011), imported quantities of F-gases contained in pre-charged equipment represented almost 13 % (measured in physical tonnes) of the import of bulk F-gases in 2008. Export of F-gases contained in pre-charged equipment was estimated to represent ca. 42 % of the exported bulk quantities. Converted to GWP-tonnage the respective shares are 11 % (imports) and 34 % (exports).

Specific policy question: In which sectors are fluorinated greenhouse gases used?

Percentages of the main intended applications of fluorinated gases (F-gases) sales, as reported by companies

Metric tonnes
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Mt CO2-equivalents (GWP FAR)
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Specific assessment

The majority of F-gases are used as refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, both mobile and stationary. Here, mostly HFCs are used. The second largest application sector is electrical equipment (SF6). Due to the extremely high GWP of SF6, the application’s share is rather small if measured in physical tonnes as compared to GWP-weighted tonnage. Other relevant application sectors are aerosols, fire protection and foams, all of which mostly use HFCs (Figure 3).

Data sources

Policy context and targets

Context description

Fluorinated gases contribute to global warming and F-gases, which are not covered by the Montreal Protocol, are included under the UNFCCC. Emission reporting according to the 1996 IPCC guidelines and the 2000 IPCC 'Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories' uses the GWPs of the 2nd IPCC Assessment report (SAR):

HFCs

PFCs

SF6

HFC-23

CF4

 

HFC-32

C2F6

 

HFC-41

C3F8

 

HFC-43-10mee

C4F10

 

HFC-125

c-C4F8

 

HFC-134

C5F12

 

HFC-134a

C6F14

 

HFC-152a

 

 

HFC-143

 

 

HFC-143a

 

 

HFC-227ea

 

 

HFC-236fa

 

 

HFC-245ca

 

 

 The 'old' EU F-Gas Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 extends this list of covered F-gases by HFC-236cb, HFC-236ea, HFC-245fa and HFC-365mfc. As of 2015, coverage of gases will be extended both for UNFCCC inventory reporting and for the scope of the 'new' EU F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 repealing Regulation 642/2006. This will be taken up in the autumn 2015 update of this indicator.

On European level two key legislative instruments focus on fluorinated gases:

  • Regulation No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gas Regulation) and
  • Directive 2006/40/EC relating to emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles (MAC Directive)

The 'old' F-Gas Regulation follows two tracks of action:

  • Improving the 'leak-tightness' of equipment containing F-gases. Measures comprise: labelling of equipment containing F-gases, training and certification of personnel and companies handling this type of gases, containment of F-gases within equipment, and proper recovery of F-gases from equipment that is no longer used.
  • Avoiding the use of F-gases in some applications in which more environmentally superior alternatives are already cost-effective. Measures include restrictions on the use and marketing of F-gases in these cases.

 The 'old' EU F-Gas Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 extends the list of covered F-gases (in comparison to the IPCC reporting requirement) by HFC-236cb, HFC-236ea, HFC-245fa and HFC-365mfc.

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. Large reductions in F-gas use and emissions are expected from a new measure, which will progressively cap allowed sales of HFCs on the EU market ('phase-down').Reductions are also expected from bans of F-gases with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP).

The MAC Directive requires gradual phase-out of F-gases with GWP >150 in new systems in the period 2011-2017 in EU.

Targets

In the framework of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, no separate target for fluorinated greenhouse gases has been specified.

In the EU context, the overall objective of the 'old' F-Gas Regulation was, together with the MAC Directive, to help fulfill the commitments of the European Union and its Member States under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, for the period 2008 to 2012. The legislation was expected to break the growing trend in the EU and maintain F-gas emissions in EU-15 at 75 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2010[1]. In fact, the 2010 EU-15 F-gas emissions accounted for 78 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents (according to the 2014 reporting). The 'new' F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 aims to reduce emissions by two-thirds of the 2010 level by 2030.

 [1] COM(2003) 492 final of 11.8.2003. This Commission proposal was the basis of both the Regulation and the MAC Directive.

Related policy documents

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The indicator presents GWP-weighted emissions of F-gases as officially reported by the EU-28 Member States.

Furthermore, the indicator presents aggregated production, imports, exports and net supply in units of million tonnes of CO2-equivalents, which is the physical amount of F-gases produced, imported, exported or consumed, multiplied by their respective global warming potential. Data are based on company reporting under Article 6 of the 'old' F-gas Regulation 642/2006.

‘Net supply’ is a parameter derived from company reporting under the 'old' F-Gas Regulation 642/2006 that provides information on the actual use of (bulk) F-gases by EU industries. Net supply is calculated by firstly adding reported amounts for:

  • production
  • imports (bulk imports only, imports contained in products or equipment are not considered in the reporting under the F-Gas Regulation)
  • stocks held on 1 January of the reporting year
  • ‘other amounts collected for reclamation or destruction from within the EU’,

and then subtracting the following reported amounts:

  • exports (bulk exports only, exports contained in products or equipment are not considered in the reporting under the F-Gas Regulation)
  • destruction (on-site by reporting companies and off-site within the EU on reporting companies’ behalf)
  • amounts used as feedstock by reporting companies
  • stocks held on 31 December of the reporting year.


The 'old' EU F-Gas Regulation 842/2006 extends the list of covered F-gases (in comparison to the IPCC reporting requirement) by HFC-236cb, HFC-236ea, HFC-245fa and HFC-365mfc.

The reporting requirements under the 'new' F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 cover a largely extended list of gases. However, this does not come into effect before companies report on their 2014 activities, due 31st March 2015. Furthermore, reporting requirements under the IPCC do also change in 2015. In consequence, the new data situation as of 2015 will be reflected in the 2015 update of this indicator.

All information provided to the Commission and the EEA on transactions of F-gases in the EU is treated as strictly confidential. The Commission and the EEA have established procedures to ensure that all of the data relating to individual companies will be kept strictly confidential. No company-specific information is disclosed to the public; all company data are aggregated before publication. These procedures limit the release of data that might significantly rely on reports from less than three company groups. To this end, company groups that contribute to less than 5 % do not count toward the '3-company-rule'. Concerns regarding confidentiality can be addressed to the European Commission or to the entity designated by the European Commission.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling takes place.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

As a part of the calculation process for 'net supply', quantities reported for on-site destruction by the reporting company and quantities reported for destruction off-site on behalf of the reporting company are taken into account (with a negative arithmetic sign) as well as 'other amounts collected for reclamation or destruction from within the EU' (with a positive arithmetic sign). Summing up both destruction-related quantities might possibly result in both double counting and omissions: Double-counting is not impossible, as reporting companies might report as 'own destruction' the same quantity which was reported as 'destroyed off-site' by another company. Omissions are very probable as specialised destruction facilities (which do not report themselves) might have destroyed more used F-gases than those quantities received by reporting companies. Furthermore, an aggregate analysis of 'other amounts collected for reclamation or destruction from within the EU' performed in the 2013 EEA report on F-gases (EEA Technical report No 15/2013) reporting reveals that these amounts do not match the amounts reported for actual destruction, reclamation or exports to theses purposes. However, the absolute relevance of the reported destruction quantities was limited to approximately 1 % of total net supply in past years.

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
ghg emissions | fluorinated gases
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
Indicator codes
  • CLIM 048
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2012
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Peder Gabrielsen

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2014 1.2.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100