EU Conciliation Committee ratifies emission-control measures for F-gases

The role of containment and handling to control the emissions of F-gases (CFCs) from air-conditioning equipment has been supported by the Conciliation Committee of the European Union. The committee has rejected the European Parliament’s attempt to give Member States a carte blanche to introduce or maintain stricter national legislation. The compromise achieved prohibits the introduction of new measures from 2005, and existing national measures will cease to apply after 2012. The conciliation deal allows Austria and Denmark to keep existing stricter national F-gas controls until 2012. Other member states will have difficulty passing new laws more stringent than the EU standards. Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner in charge of environmental policies, said the law would have the effect of transforming a projected increase in emissions of 50% from 1995 to 2010 into a 20% cut. The regulation will be reviewed by 2012 and may be tightened if a successor to the Kyoto protocol brings further international curbs on F-gases. The European Partnership for Energy & the Environment (EEPE) welcomed the agreement and regards it as a strong signal in support of containment to reduce emissions of F-gases throughout Europe. Friedrich Busch, director General of EPEE, says, ‘EEPE and its members are looking forward to moving towards compliance with the regulations across the board. All aspects will be covered: containment; recycling; recovery of F-gases; and training and certification. We are keen to demonstrate that with this regulation, we can achieve real emission reduction in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector in the coming years. ‘This regulation is about environmental protection and an efficient and open internal market. The best results are achieved when all members states play by the same rules.’

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