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MEPs vote to rid EU of HFCs

Big win for climate as ENVI Committee agrees to ban the gas in new equipment from 2020

| | Jun 22, 2013 | 11:01 am
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Big win for climate as ENVI Committee agrees to ban the gas in new equipment from 2020

The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee scored a significant win for the climate and a boost for the European economy when it decided by an overwhelming 48 votes in favour to 19 against to strengthen the EU’s F-Gas Regulation to ban a source of super greenhouse gases in new equipment from 2020. The voting took place on June 19. Announcing this in a news release, London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), gave further details: The regulation governs the use of climate-changing fluorinated gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are many hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide and are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosols, foams, solvents and fire protection.

EIA revealed that other measures adopted by the committee include an allocation fee that must be paid in order to access the annual HFC quotas under the “phase-down” mechanism. This improvement over the European Commission proposal, which reportedly freely allocated HFC quotas to chemical companies that already produced HFCs, was needed to prevent windfall profits and foil market manipulation that could hurt consumers.

EIA claimed that prior to the vote, along with a coalition of NGOs, it had called on their supporters and other EU citizens to urge ENVI Committee members not to falter in the face of the HFC chemical industry’s pressure.

Clare Perry, a Senior Campaigner for EIA, calling it a crucial victory against scaremongering and misinformation, which boded well for future negotiations with European Council, said: “This important piece of legislation now goes before the Council of the European Union, and we call on member states to show the same kind of leadership that Parliament has demonstrated. This is not only a fight against climate change, [but] it’s a chance to stand up for European businesses.”

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