The EU seeks to phase out HFCs, a type of fluorinated gas or fluorinated gas used in air conditioning and refrigerants as a replacement for CFCs, which devastated the ozone layer. Although HFCs do not damage the ozone layers like their predecessors, they do have a significant impact on global warmingg, with trifluoromethane having 11,700 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Due to its role in worsening climate change, the EU initially pledged to reduce the allowable gas quota for industry to almost a third of 2015 levels by 2024.
They also plan to further reduce usage to 20% by the end of the decade.
However, proposed new plans aim to reduce HFC use in EU industries to just 5% by 2030, and experts have warned the UK could follow suit.
However, experts have warned that a fast-track ban on these gases could hamper the deployment of heat pumps in the UK and EU.
Fears of an HFC gas shortage have also been heightened by soaring demand for air conditioners following the record heatwave in Europe.
Martyn Cooper, commercial director of the British Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, which represents heating and cooling businesses, including the heat pump industry, told the Telegraph: “At the end of the day there would be no not enough fluorinated gases to maintain existing equipment. on the market, whether heat pumps or not.
“It would potentially impact the deployment of heat pumps because there wouldn’t be enough fluorinated gases to go in now.
“Potentially you have an environmental regulation, the fluorinated gas regulation, that impinges on the net zero crossing.”
Mr Cooper noted that there are other factors which could affect the UK government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps by 2030, such as a lack of trained engineers to install the technology.
However, he added that there could be a scenario where not enough heat pumps were manufactured to meet the targets.
Earlier this year, the European Heat Pump Federation warned against imposing a harsher limit, adding that it would “necessarily slow down the rate at which heat pump equipment will be deployed”.
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