New EU F-Gas Regulation against climate crisis and perpetual chemicals (PFAS)
The European Parliament has just voted its position on the new regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases, so-called F-gases.
F-gases are greenhouse gases that can warm the climate up to 25,000 times more than CO2. Although particularly climate-damaging F-gases could be reduced by the F-gas regulation that has already been in place since 2015, F-gases that are less harmful to the climate but belong to the group of “PFAS” are increasingly being used instead. These are also known as “eternity chemicals” and are particularly harmful to health and the environment.
The recast of the F-Gases Regulation is intended to enable a rapid switch to climate and environmentally-friendly alternatives and to promote clean innovation in the European Union.
F-gases are used in air conditioning systems, heat pumps, refrigeration units, and as an insulating gas in electrical switchgear. Parliament is in favour of banning the use of F-gases in certain products. Where there are no alternatives, there are to be exceptions, for example for heat pumps.
Green MEP Jutta Paulus, who was involved in the negotiations in the Industry Committee, comments:
“It is right to completely remove climate- and health-damaging F-gases from the market by 2050, because alternatives already exist today and new innovations are always waiting in the wings. Instead of casting out the devil F-gas with the Beelzebub PFAS, the EU Parliament sets clear guidelines for sustainable solutions. Contrary to many claims, neither the ramp-up of heat pumps nor the expansion of the electricity grid will be hindered, and the repair of existing plants will remain possible. However, the unreflective adherence to outdated technologies must now come to an end.”