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Europe Phasing Out HFCs

Euro ParliamentThe European Parliament passed a phase-down of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), or fluorinated gases (F-gases).

The compromise agreement was struck in December and adopted Wednesday.

F-gases have global warming potentials hundreds to thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide, and are widely used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, fire protection, aerosols and foams, according to environmental groups.

“This is a hugely encouraging lead from Europe in the fight against climate change,” Clare Perry, head of Environmental Investigation Agency’s Global Environment Campaign said in a statement. “With the EU showing a progressive lead in this field, this decision should act as a catalyst for future international negotiations in pursuit of a global deal to address HFCs which, if achieved, could avoid emissions of up to 100 billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent by 2050.”

The F-Gas Regulation will cap the amount of HFCs which can be placed on the European market, gradually reducing over time the amount to 21 percent by 2030. Their use currently accounts for about 2 per cent of European emissions.

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