F gases survive all-embracing banning recommendations

The rejection by the European Parliament of proposals that would effectively have banned the use of HFCs for air-conditioning and refrigeration applications has been welcomed throughout the industry. Among the recommendations of the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament had been a ban on the use of F-gases (fluorinated gases) for all stationary air-conditioning and their use for servicing existing refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. This latter proposal would have prevented existing equipment being serviced as soon as the regulation entered force, making all equipment immediately obsolete. The European Partnership for Energy & The Environment, of which FETA in the UK is a member, regards the vote to reject these proposals as a strong signal in support of a containment system to reduce emissions of F-gases across Europe. Friedrich Busch, director general of EPEE, said after the vote, ‘The European refrigeration and air-conditioning industry is now ready to meet the challenge of practical emission reduction — via containment and monitoring — as endorsed by the Parliament.’ Speaking on the series of product-ban amendments, he added, ‘All additional bans would have been completely unrealistic. The phase-out dates and use restrictions were proposed without any serious practical assessment of social, economic and safety feasibility and the total environmental impact, including energy efficiency. Tony Kaye, European president of refrigerant manufacturer INEOS Fluor, said, ‘The decision taken by the Parliament is a victory for common sense. The Parliament resolutely rejected any additional bans which would have been completely unrealistic. The phase-out dates and use restrictions had been proposed without any serious assessment of their impact on society, economic and safety feasibility or the total environment impact, including energy efficiency.’



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