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Green groups give cautious welcome to news of draft F-gas regulations

EIA calls news of bans and phasedown ‘the beginning of the end for HFCs in Europe’

Lobbyist the EIA has given a guarded welcome to the mix of phase-downs and bans in the F-gas regulations. Clare Perry, Head of EIA’s Global Environment Campaign said: “Naturally, we would prefer more bans with fewer loopholes as these are the most effective method of preventing greenhouse gas emissions and there is overwhelming evidence that they would be feasible and cost-efficient. Nevertheless, this is the beginning of the end for HFCs in Europe – at least now the industries involved will be able to see which way the wind is blowing and invest in cleaner, greener alternatives.”

However she was scathing about some of the decisions: “Research conducted for the European Commission at the beginning of the review process had indicated that the use of HFCs could be banned in all the major sectors from 2020, with alternative technologies matching or even improving the efficiency of the technologies, allowing a double win for the climate. However relentless lobbying by the chemical industry forced legislators to introduce weaker measures. This could slow down the pace of the adoption of climate-friendly replacement technologies.

Susanna Williams, Climate and Energy Policy Officer at green umbrella group the Energy Environmental Bureau, added: “It is regrettable that certain countries were unwilling to listen to the best evidence available and instead chose to side with the interests of the chemical industry and HFC equipment manufacturers. Despite this, we are pleased that legislators agreed bans in some key areas that will boost low-carbon innovation in Europe. The immediate focus now will be on the effective implementation of the legislation.”

The draft legislation now has to be approved by Member State Representatives and then formally approved by the European Parliament and Council, before being adopted in early 2014.

Ms Perry added: “What has been agreed here in Europe is a huge step towards the real prize of a global deal to address HFCs. If we can achieve that, we could avoid emissions of up to 100 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2050,”

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