Issue Date: November 12, 2012
EU Proposes To Curb Hydrofluorocarbons
Sales of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the European Union would be ratchetted down 80% between 2015 and 2030 under legislation the European Commission proposed last week. The proposal would also ban sales of window-unit air conditioners and household and commercial refrigerators and freezers containing HFCs. Used as refrigerants, HFCs are potent greenhouse gases, and their global production is rapidly growing. At the Rio+20 Earth Summit earlier this year, governments from around the world endorsed a gradual phasedown of the manufacture and use of HFCs (C&EN, June 25, page 7). The proposed EU legislation would strengthen current requirements for controlling leaks and maintaining equipment that contains HFCs or either of two other types of fluorinated greenhouse gases: perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride. The commission says the proposal would reduce the EU’s emissions of HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 to one-third of current levels by 2030. “This new legislation will benefit the climate and create great business opportunities,” says Connie Hedegaard, EU commissioner for climate action.
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