Producing and importing fluorinated greenhouse gases

On 20 February 2019, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee considered a Decision on adjusting reference values for hydroflurocarbons.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are typically used in air conditioning and refrigeration. They are powerful greenhouse gases that can have a significant impact on global warming. The EU limits the prevalence of HFCs by allocating a quota to producers and importers, which is gradually reduced over time.

This Decision amends UK businesses’ quota in light of Brexit, reducing it to reflect the fact that it will only cover them selling to 27 (not 28) countries. Separately, the UK intends to establish its own system to allocate quota for the UK market, so businesses should end up with the same amount of quota overall.

The UK Government has expressed concern, however, over how the EU has recalculated the quotas. Members decided to write to the Minister to ask for further details of their concerns, and to ask whether systems were in place to start allocating quota from 30 March if required.

Update: on 27 March, the Committee considered the Minister’s response. She explained that the IT systems and staff were in place to allocate UK quota and that the UK couldn’t verify the EU’s recalculated quotas as they are based on sensitive data provided directly to the EU. She also explained, however, that it was only “a few” businesses who had concerns, and that they had been encouraged to talk directly to the European Commission. The Committee, therefore, decided to release this item from scrutiny.

Letters to the Minister

Letter from the Minister

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