Pre-Event Workshop - Global Natural Refrigerants Label
Pre-registration and Sponsors set-up
Policy Session: Implementing the EU F-Gas Regulation
Bente Tranholm-Schwarz, Deputy Head of Unit of DG Climate Action at the European Commission, presented on recent updates of the EU F-Gas Regulation that entered into force in January 2015, and spoke of the main measures that have already or will be implemented on a European level. Tranholm-Schwartz provided a brief clarification on the EU HFC phase down quota system - which as explained requires a reduction of the average GWP of refrigerants from 2000 to 400 by 2030. This provides a clear signal to consumers to avoid the use of HFCs. In order to facilitate the HFC phase-down and a shift to natural refrigerants, Tranholm-Schwarz noted that the European Commission has initiated work on a study that will identify codes, standards and legislation that limit or prevent the use of HFC alternatives at the EU and national level.
Florian Veyssilier from the French Ministry of Environment discussed the French perspective on implementing the F-Gas Regulation and their many activities involved in this. In addition to updating national regulations from 2007, with a phase-down, quota compliance, as well as bans on specific products or use, the government is involved in data collection. This includes an on-going study on leak rates and price monitoring of HFCs in France and the EU. According to Veyssilier, France supports paid quotas, which will again be discussed before 2017 after an evaluation by the European Commission on the impact of free quota allocation. What was also mentioned was that in the summer of 2015, the French government is planning on updating regulations to alleviate the burden on ammonia installations, to allow for a wider introduction of these technologies in France.
Katja Becken from the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presented on the approaches to implementing the EU Regulations in Germany, which is currently aligning the national legislation with the EU F-Gas Regulation. Activities highlighted included the Climate Action Programme 2020 (adopted in December 2014) which sees that Germany is taking a pro-active approach to promoting natural refrigerants. Becken sees that activities will focus on strengthening technical advisory services, training and education on natural refrigerants, as well as continuous and extended promotion of non-halogenated refrigerants, such as CO2 and hydrocarbons in commercial refrigeration and other applications such as transport.
Marco Buoni, from the European Association of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Contractors (AREA) focused on blended learning for alternative refrigerants and new equipment. He maintained that training plays a crucial role in phasing down of HFCs, as there is a need for raised awareness with regard to the use of natural refrigerants, as the use of natural refrigerants will in consequence be pushed. Training will close the gap for this, as the need to be aware of safety, flammability, toxicity and high pressure, which will need to be considered. AREA recommended global and European decision-makers and industry to enforce minimum requirements for training and certification of contractors handling low GWP refrigerants in pushing their market uptake.
Juergen Goeller from Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems presented an industry perspective on the implementation of the F-Gas Regulation, and in particular challenges with regard to the wider uptake of natural refrigerants. These referred to the lack of end-users’ and consumers’ knowledge on the use of natural refrigerants. Goeller noted the real risk, which needs to be reduced – such as training of installers and adaptation of codes and standards, and perceived risk needing to be reduced which relates to end-user behaviour. Confidence and experiences need to heighten so that risk can be fully understood and better determine their purchasing behaviour. Goeller also highlighted that national codes and standards need to be updated to eliminate the barriers to the market uptake of natural refrigerants