Phase-down of fluorinated gases essential to reduce effect on climate
Image © Jeffrey Bary
The new report ‘Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2014’ shows the production, use, import, export and destruction of these substances in the European Union in 2014. F-gas emissions in the EU have grown by almost 60 % since 1990, and currently make up approximately 2.5 % of EU-28 overall greenhouse gas emissions (measured in 'CO2-equivalent' tonnes (CO2e) to be able to assess their effect on the climate).
F-gases were originally introduced to replace chemicals that were found to be harming the ozone layer. They are used in many different products, including refrigerators and air conditioning units.
New F-gas Regulation
European laws were recently revised and a new F-gas Regulation has been in force since 1 January 2015. This regulation, which includes a new quota system for the main type of F-gases (HFCs), aims to reduce F-gas emissions by two thirds of 2010 levels by 2030. Under the new legislation companies are obliged to report certain activities involving F-gases.
The overall 2014 trends, based on company reporting on fluorinated greenhouse gases, can be summarised as follows:
- EU production of fluorinated gases continued to decline for the fourth consecutive year since 2011. Production, measured in tonnes, experienced a year-on-year decline of 15 %, or 11 % in terms of CO2e;
- Bulk imports of fluorinated gases increased by 90 % compared to last year’s reporting (CO2e);
- The high increase in bulk imports is mostly due to a 95 % increase in HFC imports, resulting to a large extent in HFC stockpiling in the EU;
- 2014 was marked by a 61 % increase in amounts of HFC being placed on the market. This is most probably due to stockpiling in anticipation of the HFC-phase down and quota allocations for placing HFCs on the market from 2015 onwards;
- Bulk exports of HFCs continued to increase for the fifth year in a row. There was an increase of 22 % (tonnes), or 24% (CO2e) compared to 2013.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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