EU Parliament votes for quick phase-out of planet warming F-gases

(EurActiv, 31 Mar 2023) The European Parliament has adopted its position on the phase-out of F-gases, opting for a faster pathway, much to the consternation of business groups who are now turning to EU countries still deliberating their position.

Heat pumps, which concentrate ambient heat using refrigerants and electricity, are a key technology to decarbonise household heating, which currently relies on fossil fuels such as natural gas.

The main refrigerants used today in heat pumps are fluorinated gases – or F-gases, in short.

F-gases were introduced in the 1990s to replace the ozone-depleting  hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which were being phased out.

However, they have a high impact on the climate, being up to 24,000 times more damaging than CO2. Overall, F-gases are estimated to be responsible for 2.5% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

“F-gases are an invisible threat to our climate and undermine our efforts to stop global warming,” said Bas Eickhout, a Dutch Green lawmaker leading the Parliament’s position on the proposal, who spoke after the vote on Thursday (30 March).

His approach to swiftly crack down on F-gases was very much welcomed by the hemicycle.

426 lawmakers voted in favour, 109 against and 52 abstained – providing Eickhout with a strong majority ahead of final negotiations with the 27 EU member states represented in the Council of the EU. This means that Eickhout’s initial deal from early March passed without major changes.

External link

EurActiv, 31 Mar 2023: EU Parliament votes for quick phase-out of planet warming F-gases