Climate Change & The Green Deal

The F-gas review will be undertaken in line with the EU Climate Legislation.

European Commission presented on March 4 its proposal (to be discussed in the European Parliament and the EU Council in coming months) for a European Climate Law– legislation that will legally bind the EU to its 2050 carbon neutrality objective. Key points in the proposal:

Following the completion of a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission will propose a new 2030 GHG reduction target – and will also set a 2030-2050 trajectory for GHG reduction.

By June 2021, the Commission will review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emission reductions for 2030.

By September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the Commission will assess the consistency of EU and national measures with the climate-neutrality objective and the 2030-2050 trajectory.

The European Green Deal

New technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation are critical to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal

HFOs and HCFOs are a disruptive technology that bridges the historical divide between maximizing safety (achieved through the use of non-flammable, low order of toxicity, but high GWP HFCs) and minimizing GWP (achieved through the use of low GWP, but highly flammable hydrocarbons or toxic ammonia). The available HFOs and HCFOs have varied physical properties enabling the optimum choice to be selected for a diverse range of applications, something that cannot be achieved with CO2.

Mildly flammable A2L low GWP HFCs and HFC/HFO blend refrigerants provide a good balance of safety, environmental and technical properties. Lower GWP non-flammable HFC/HFO blends allow the replacement of high GWP HFCs.

EFCTC believes that lower GWP HFCs, HFC/HFO blends and HFOs have an important role to play in the longer term to deliver safe energy efficient applications with improved containment recovery and recycle.

“The communication [COM(2019) 640 final] sets out a European Green Deal for the European Union (EU) and its citizens. It resets the Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environmental-related challenges that is this generation’s defining task.”

See https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

HFCs and HFOs used in RACHP and other applications contribute to its goals

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Further decarbonising the energy system is critical to reach climate objectives in 2030 and 2050.

The production and use of energy across economic sectors account for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency must be prioritised.  

Improvements in energy efficiency in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment during the transition to low-GWP refrigerants can further increase the climate benefits of the HFC phasedown.   of the Kigali Amendment. HFCs, HFC/HFO blends HFOs and HCFOs have an important role for the widespread adoption of ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) and high temperature heat pump systems used for energy recovery from a wide range of waste heat sources.

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The clean energy transition should involve and benefit consumers

Renewable energy sources will have an essential role.

The amount of aerothermal, geothermal or hydrothermal energy captured by heat pumps is considered to be energy from renewable sources for the purposes of this Directive. There is growth in heat pump installations, with extensive continuing HFC use according to BSRIA “80% of heat pumps sold in 2019 contained R-410A refrigerants with R-134a being the second most common”. It is expected that lower GWP HFCs, HFC/HFO blends, HFOs and HCFOs will be used more widely for heat pumps due to their good balance of safety, performance and environmental properties.  District heating systems can further improve energy utilisation.

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The circular economy action plan will include a ‘sustainable products’ policy

To support the circular design of all products based on a common methodology and principles. It will prioritise reducing and reusing materials before recycling them.

The safety properties of HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs mean that they can be recovered, recycled and reclaimed effectively. Equipment and methods to achieve this are well established.

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The construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and mineral resources (e.g. sand, gravel, cement).

Buildings also account for 40% of energy consumed. Today the annual renovation rate of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the Member States. This rate will need at least to double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives.

Insulation foam either as panels for new build or renovations or spray foam mainly for existing buildings are a critical factor in improving energy performance. The HFOs and HCFOs are likely to be targeted mostly where the there is a requirement for improved thermal efficiency and, also where a non-flammable blowing agent is necessary (such as spray foam).

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The Farm to Fork Strategy will also contribute to achieving a circular economy

It will aim to reduce the environmental impact of the food processing and retail sectors by taking action on transport, storage, packaging and food waste.

Mildly flammable A2L HFO/HFC refrigerants with low GWPs are proving to be an optimum solution for some supermarket refrigeration systems offering ease of installation and maintenance, cost efficiency, safety, and energy efficiency, while using a low GWP refrigerant. Refrigerated transport is an important link in the chain from farm to fork. Technical requirements for transport refrigeration systems are very complex. Flammability risks are a main concern, along with energy efficiency and reliability, for transport applications and affect current and future refrigerant choices.

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Creating a toxic-free environment requires more action to prevent pollution from being generated as well as measures to clean and remedy it

To protect Europe’s citizens and ecosystems, the EU needs to better monitor, report, prevent and remedy pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products.

HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs all breakdown in the atmosphere to substances that occur naturally in large quantities in the environment. The breakdown products have an insignificant effect on acidification (acid rain). Some HFCs and HFOs breakdown to produce TFA (trifluoroacetic acid), a naturally occurring substance.  Exposure to current and projected concentrations of salts of TFA in surface waters present a minimal risk to the health of humans and the environment. HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs have negligible contribution to ground-level ozone formation.

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New technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation are critical to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal

HFOs and HCFOs are a disruptive technology that bridges the historical divide between maximising safety (achieved through the use of non-flammable, low order of toxicity, but high GWP HFCs) and minimising GWP (achieved through the use of low GWP, but highly flammable hydrocarbons or toxic ammonia). The available HFOs and HCFOs have varied physical properties enabling the optimum choice to be selected for a diverse range of applications, something that cannot be achieved with CO2.

Mildly flammable A2L low GWP HFCs and HFC/HFO blend refrigerants provide a good balance of safety, environmental and technical properties. Lower GWP non-flammable HFC/HFO blends allow the replacement of high GWP HFCs.

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