Following bans on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1980s to stop depletion of the ozone layer, draft legislation is being proposed to target use of several other fluorinated gases that are harmful to the climate. ‘F-gases’ can have a greenhouse warming effect thousands of times stronger than equivalent amounts of CO2.
The three key points from the Environment Committee’s decision are, that:
- The committee proposes to entirely phase out the use of F-gases between 2015 and 2020 in several new sectors, where safe, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternatives are available.
- With respect the principle that the “polluter pays” principle, the Environment Committee proposes charging producers a fee of up to 10 euros per tonne of CO2 equivalent for the HFCs as an additional incentive to innovate and recycle.
- The committee strengthened the legislation by proposing an export ban to prevent appliances using fluorinated gases being dumped in countries outside the EU.