Source: European Commission
Between September and December 2011, the Commission held an online public consultation on actions to address emissions of fluorinated gases. The consultation was designed to gather input for a review of Regulation (EC) No 842/2006, for which an Impact Assessment is currently in preparation in view of a proposal to be presented in the autumn.
The online consultation received 261 responses, 63% of which came from registered stakeholder organisations, while 37% of the respondents identified themselves as individuals.
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the current state of play is unsatisfactory. Stakeholders were, however, divided on the most appropriate action to take.
In the absence of global action on fluorinated gases, stakeholder organisations preferred better containment and recovery from fluorinated gas appliances, followed by voluntary agreements and a phase-down approach based on quantitative limits for placing fluorinated gases on the market. Public administrations, NGOs, manufacturers of alternative equipment and individual respondents indicated that bans would also be appropriate. Many respondents considered a package of measures to be desirable. Only 2% of all respondents considered that “No further action” was necessary.
Different responses within industry appear to reflect the diverse application of fluorinated gases (e.g. in air-conditioning, foams, heat pumps and refrigeration) and the various types of commercial activities involved (e.g. chemical producers, equipment manufacturers, service companies and industrial users of equipment). Some industrial players expressed concerns regarding their competitiveness if a strengthened approach is implemented; others – including administrations and companies offering alternatives – saw opportunities and benefits for green growth in a shift away from fluorinated gases.
A detailed analysis is available in the summary of the responses.