In Climalife Contact No 4 from October 2012, we published the commission's guidelines on the revised F-Gas regulation. The discussions are going well and there have been some new developments. Following the first proposal, 450 amendments were put forward by members of Parliament, and the Irish Presidency proposed a second version of the text to the F-Gas commission.
At present, the following trends are taking root in the refrigeration/air conditioning sector:
- Phase down of CO2 equivalents in stage until 2030.
- Checking leaks on all types of equipment with mandatory, stationary leak detectors for installations with a load equal to 500 tonnes of CO2 or more.
- Extension in Europe of the prohibition to sell or purchase without a certificate of competence.
- Specific labelling on recovered, reclaimed, destroyed and exported products and equipment.
- As of 1st January 2017, prohibition of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high GWP (exceeding 2500) in new equipment.
- As of 1st January 2020, prohibition of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a low GWP (150 or more) in new, hermetically sealed equipment.
- As of 1st January 2020, prohibition of the maintenance and upkeep of equipment using fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high GWP (exceeding 2500).
- Until 1st January 2030, authorisation to maintain and ensure the upkeep of reclaimed fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high GWP (exceeding 2500).
- As of 1st January 2022, prohibition of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high GWP (exceeding 2500) for new refrigerated trailers and trucks.
- Temporary exemption from prohibitions for "low temperature" equipment (under -50C) or for safety reasons.
- Allocation of quotas on a pro-rata basis according to the quantities marketed in the European Union between 2008 and 2011.
The agenda is still developing and there are several possible scenarios:
a) Acceptance at the first reading.
b) In the event of rejection at the first reading, the commission has 3 months to present a new text to the European Parliament.
c) The first extensive reading is the most common option selected by institutions. According to this procedure, the European Parliament votes at the second reading, but the Council officially remains at the first reading stage without having to take up a position at the date that was initially scheduled. This enables institutions to conduct informal negotiations in order to reach a compromise. During the trialogue, the negotiations are conducted article by article until an agreement is established.
It should be noted that, during the perioud of parliamentary reservation (from March to May: European electoral campaign), no decision will be taken by the legislature.