Revised F-Gas regulations expected by 2023
28th May 2021 By Neil Merrett
The latest RAC F-Gas Question time event can now be watched online with a look at the likelihood of fresh reforms including a stricter phasedown schedule by the end of this decade
A revised F-Gas Regulation could be implemented across Europe within the next two years, with the initial proposals on quota and enforcement reforms expected later in 2021, RAC Magazine’s latest Question Time event has heard.
The online event, which was sponsored by Chemours and held on 27 May, brought together experts and policy specialists from across the cooling sector to discuss the major challenges facing the legislation. The panel also considered how the legislation might evolve as part of an ongoing review.
You can watch the event in full here or in the player below:
RAC Magazine editor Andrew Gaved hosted the proceedings, which touched on a range of issues including growing the industry consensus to expand the remit of the legislation beyond fluorinated gases to all refrigerants relied on by the industry.
Other major topics include ensuring sufficient skills and competence within the industry to adopt lower-GWP refrigerants and the importance of reducing them overall energy demand needed for cooling.
The ongoing review by the European Commission of F-Gas regulation and targets was a pertinent theme for this year, with a range of trade bodies calling for authorities to expand the scope of the law to apply to all greenhouse gases – in effect creating a ‘G-Gas’ regulation.
Policy expert Ray Gluckman said that it was still too early to say exactly what changes we might see implemented as part of any reforms.
However, he told the F-Gas Question Time panel that the industry should only expect even more ambitious proposals and quota cuts in line with the EU’s recently revealed ‘Green Deal’ decarbonisation strategy.
With the Kigali Amendment set to match and then supersede F-Gas requirements from 2034, Mr Gluckman claimed that further quota cuts in the would be likely for industry within the next decade.
A fresh cut in the quota of F-Gas products allowable on the market was introduced on 1 January. This has seen a 55 per cent reduction when compared to the 2015 baseline level. A further quota cut is now scheduled to be introduced at the start of 2024 with the UK government committed to match these targets after having transposed the legislation not national law as part of the Brexit process.
The next decade
Mr Gluckman argued that further quota cuts were highly likely post 2030 to ensure parity with the requirements of the Kigali Amendment that is ratified by over 100 countries with the US and China also set to sign up.
He said, “I don’t think that they can adjust the 2024 cut, but they could easily propose a bigger cut in 2027.”
“There will be, I’m sure, some more product bans and there is lots of talk about what we can do to reduce the risk of illegal trade.”
Initial proposals for the European Commission’s preferred reforms of the F-Gas regulation could be published later this year upon the release of a major study of the legislation, Mr Gluckman added.
This will then be followed by further negotiations and discussions before being passed into law.
Mr Gluckman said, “New regulation is possible next year, by the end of 2022. More likely it will be sometime in 2023.”
Mark Hughes, business development manager EMEA of thermal and specialised solutions with event sponsor Chemours, said that the stricter targets and requirements of the F-Gas regulation in the UK and Europe would have a profound effect on the solutions being adopted in the cooling sector.
He said that a lot of the new systems coming to market would be introducing some level of flammability, toxicity, or higher pressure in their handling demands to meet the lower GWP requirements of the F-Gas phasedown.
Chemours was currently involved in bringing a number of lower flammability A2L products to market as part of its intentions to try and balance F-Gas requirements for lower greenhouse gas emissions with the overall energy efficiency of the cooling systems.
Mr Hughes added, “Industry is going to have to stand up and do something using one of these hazards to some degree.”