EUROPE: The European Parliament's environment committee has voted to ban HFCs in new equipment from 2020. The overwhelming vote by 48 votes to 19 is the latest stage in the planned revisions to the F-gas regulations but will still have to be ratified by Parliament.
Andrea Voight of industry body EPEE expressed her dismay at the decision. 'We are very disappointed that the Environment Committee has chosen the course of command and control politics with the highest price tag that Europeans will have to pay for,' she said.
EPEE called upon decision makers to continue to support a phase-down to achieve Europe's climate objectives and sustaining a Euro30bn economy, over 200,000 direct jobs and millions of indirect jobs in Europe.
Understandably, the environmental group the EIA were cock-a-hoop describing the decision as a significant win for the climate and a boost for the European economy.
The EIA's senior campaigner Clare Perry welcomed the vote as 'a strong step in the fight against climate change and one which signaled that Europe is leading the way to move beyond HFCs.'
'This is an important result as it comes despite a powerful HFC chemical lobby, one dominated by a handful of multinationals engaged in a relentless campaign to protect their profits at the expense of the environment and smaller European companies.
'The ENVI Committee looked at this in great detail, and the fact that members saw through the scaremongering and misinformation bodes well for future negotiations with European Council. HFC-free alternatives are ready, and this is an opportunity to put European businesses at the forefront of the ever-growing refrigeration and air-conditioning markets while scoring a crucial victory for the climate.'