Imports of HFCs in Europe have gone up slightly, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Ahead of an upcoming cut to the HFC quota in 2018, the ‘Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2016’ report – published last week by the European Environment Agency (EEA) – reveals that bulk imports of fluorinated gases rose by 2% in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Under the EU F-Gas Regulation, on 1 January 2018 the overall allocated quota of HFCs is set to fall from 93% of the original baseline to just 63%
The increase, reported by the EEA (an agency of the European Union), contrasts starkly with the decrease reported in 2015 – the date of the entry into force of the EU’s new F-Gas Regulation on phasing down HFC consumption – when bulk imports fell by 40%.
The EEA report cites the import increase as “primarily due to an 80% rise in HFCs with low global warming potential” as imports of F-gases went up by only 2% if measured in CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
Production of f-gases, reported in tonnes, also went up by 2% in 2016 compared to 2015 levels. These gases had less global warming effect than previously used HFCs, according to the report, as CO2e decreased by 2%.
In comparison to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which is a global agreement to limit HFCs, the EU is well ahead of its targets.
In 2016, HFC consumption in the EU was the lowest since reporting began in 2007 and is already 14% below the required limit enshrined in the Kigali Amendment, the EEA claims.
Arno Kaschl of DG CLIMA at the European Commission, whose principal objectives are implementing the EU’s fluorinated gas policies and supporting the international negotiations under the Montreal Protocol to put into effect a global phase-down of HFCs, recently stated in Accelerate Europe that the F-Gas Regulation is on track as prices of HFCs are set to increase.
“We are first movers in Europe, but with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, we have now also created a level playing field in a globally-agreed, worldwide technology conversion which should create significant new business opportunities for European companies,” Kaschl said.