MEPs adopt partial ban on HFCs super greenhouse gases

The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted an agreement to ban the use of super greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in new air-conditioning appliances and refrigerators in EU member states.

Fluorinated gases are widely used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, fire protection, aerosols and foams, and they have a global warming effect thousands times greater than equivalent amounts of CO2.

According to official release, the ban would apply to centralised commercial refrigeration equipment with a capacity of 40kw that uses HFCs. Small air-conditioning systems using HFCs with a global warming potential (GWP) more than 750 times that of CO2 will be banned by 2025, while technical aerosols containing HFCs over 150 GWP would be banned from 2018. Products such as extruded polystyrene and other foams using HFCs would be banned from 2020 and 2023 respectively.

Overall, the use of HFCs is to be reduced by 79 percent by 2030. The draft legislation is scheduled for approval by the EU Council on April.