10 NGOs urge EU climate chief to keep leadership on f-gases

By Alexandra Maratou, Jul 04, 2012, 16:25 2 minute reading

In a letter addressed to European Union’s climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, a coalition of 10 leading environmental organisations has called on her to maintain leadership on addressing climate potent f-gases “by ensuring that any proposal for the review of the F-Gas Regulation includes subsector-specific placing on the market prohibitions in all subsectors”.

This is the closing remark of a letter issued jointly yesterday by the Environmental Investigation Agency, European Environmental Bureau, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Climate Action Network Europe, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, Natuur & Milieu, CDM Watch and ClientEarth.

Other measures, such as quantitative f-gas limits and improvements to containment and recovery should be complementary to placing on the market (POM) prohibitions.

The letter points out that research conducted for the European Commission shows the use of F-gases can be banned from new equipment in most sectors by 2020, a move that would abate more than 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) emissions by 2030 and in excess of 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2-eq emissions by 2050.

POMs enable EU industry to plan ahead and develop advantage in climate friendly technologies

Equally important is that bans will enable European businesses to develop a global advantage in a new climate friendly technology industry: “In order for industry to have the confidence to invest in alternatives, we need clear bans on the use of F-gases on a sector-by-sector basis”, explains aid Environmental Investigation Agency climate campaigner Alasdair Cameron. “The mostly European businesses providing alternatives need concrete timeframes for planning and investment purposes, something that a so-called ‘economy-wide phase-down’ will not provide”.

Concerns over generic phase-down schedules leading to “polluting as usual”

The coalition’s letter has been sent in response to concerns that the measures that the European Commission is expected to propose in autumn 2012 as part of the ongoing review of EU Regulation on Certain Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (EC No 842/2006) might lack in ambition, stipulating overall quantitative limits on f-gases over a long timeframe without subsector-specific POM prohibitions, essentially leading to business as usual and “polluting as usual”.

The letter lays down the following reasons that a general phase down schedule is bound to underperform:

  • A phase-down schedule will provide little “pressure to reduce the quantity of HFC-based equipment placed on the market until long after 2020. This will lock in the use of leaky HFC-based equipment for decades, resulting in unnecessary HFC emissions and squandering energy efficiency and cost benefits from transitioning to alternatives.”

  • “Allowing HFC-based equipment when it is no longer necessary places unnecessary reliance on containment and recovery measures that are not only expensive but suffer from well-known compliance and enforcement problems.” 


By Alexandra Maratou

Jul 04, 2012, 16:25

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