The European Commission proposes two new regulations to strengthen the control of very powerful greenhouse gases | Jones Day

On April 5, 2022, the European Commission proposed two new regulations aimed at restricting the emission and use of very powerful greenhouse gases, which strongly contribute to global warming, in order to limit the increase in global temperature and the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Montreal Protocol. to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

The first proposal would replace Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of 16 September 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer (“ODS Regulation”) currently in force, which prohibits the production, trade and use ozone-depleting substances (“ODS”), with the exception of a few specific exempted uses, and restricts the trade and use of products and equipment containing ODS. However, since most ODS have been phased out, the European Commission has proposed to end the now obsolete exemptions and move from the current quota and registration system to a more operational licensing system. The proposal also includes new take-back obligations to prevent emissions from old products and equipment that still contain ODS (e.g. insulation foams in buildings) and new monitoring, reporting and enforcement measures to tackle illegal activities.

The second proposal would replace Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases (“F-Gas Regulation”) currently in force, which aims to control the placement of greenhouse gases fluorinated (“F-gas”) in the EU market, mainly through the establishment of a quota system for hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) to ensure their gradual reduction. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that the EU respects its international commitments, in particular the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs, the European Commission has proposed to reinforce the phase-down of HFCs by strengthening the quota system, in particular with stricter registration rules and a fixed quota price. It also proposes to limit the use of fluorinated gases to new equipment for which suitable alternatives are not available, while removing certain existing exemptions. Furthermore, the proposal extends monitoring and reporting obligations to new activities and strengthens enforcement measures to combat illegal trade.

The revision of these two regulations is likely to be a long process with expected back and forth between EU institutions, which could bring changes to the proposed provisions. In any event, if the current proposals tend towards a stricter legal framework for very potent greenhouse gases, this will represent significant opportunities for industries, since the proposed measures favor alternative substances replacing ODS and greenhouse gases. as well as the development of more environmentally friendly equipment and technologies.

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