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18th December: European Commission publishes a report on the functioning of the EU-wide quota system for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

12 January 2021

The findings of this report will serve as input to the review of the EU rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases that the Commission launched as part of the European Green Deal and the Climate Law proposal.
The review aims to ensure that the rules are consistent with the EU’s objective of achieving a 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050. The review will also confirm EU obligations related to hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The Commission aims to propose a new F-gas Regulation by the end of 2021.

The Report Conclusions. There is currently no shortage of HFCs on the Union market, as a technology shift to lower global warming alternatives is ongoing and many such alternatives are available in sufficient volumes. Prices have come down from their peak in 2018 but innovation continues to bring new technologies to the market, in particular because more ambitious phase-down steps are in place. The reasons for declining prices from the 2018 peak include the successful transition to alternatives in some important sectors, better leakage prevention and higher reclamation rates, stock building in 2017 to prepare for the 2018 phase-down step, and the change of traditional supply chains. In addition, illegal imports would come on top of the legal supply of HFCs to the EU market and may also have had an effect on price levels in 2018. It will be important to closely continue monitoring the market and gas prices going forward, as well as effectively prevent any illegal activities, in particular as another phase-down step (to 45% of the 2015 baseline) is foreseen for 2021. The EU Customs Single Window – Certificate Exchange (EU CSW-CERTEX) project should, from 2021 onwards, greatly support these efforts by introducing automatic checks at customs of requirements under the F-gas Regulation.

Commission news announcing the report.
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION on the availability of hydrofluorocarbons on the Union market 16.12.2020 C(2020) 8842 final