Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) and ozone depleting substances (ODS) are the focus of the European Commission’s proposals made on 5 April.
The proposal on F gases aims to introduce a tighter quota system for hydrofluorocarbons, as well as restrictions on F gas usage, including the most potent greenhouse gas, SF6. Regarding ODS, the proposal contains new measures for products containing them, as well as additional emission savings achieved by recovering or destroying ODS used in insulation foams during renovation. Both proposals include improved enforcement and broader monitoring.
These human-made greenhouse gases, if released into the atmosphere, contribute drastically to global warming as they are often significantly more harmful than carbon dioxide. Despite this and existing legal limitations, these substances are still broadly used in many areas, such as refrigeration, insulation, among others. The new proposals aim to reduce their usage and incentivise reliance on climate friendly alternatives.
The new F gas proposal and ODS proposal will result in significant emission reduction. It is estimated that the F gas proposal will save the equivalent of 40 million tons CO2 emissions by 2030, and the equivalent to 310 million tons of CO2 by 2050, while the ODS proposal is expected to save the equivalent of 180 million tonnes of CO2 as well as an additional 32,000 tonnes of ozone depleting potential (ODP) emissions by 2050.
The details of the proposals and a more in-depth estimation of impacts can be read here.