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Press release |

MEPS demand ban on extreme greenhouse gases

Extreme greenhouse gases

The European Parliament has just voted to end Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases, or F-gases, extreme greenhouse gases that are often many thousands of times stronger than CO2. These gases are found in refrigerators, air conditioners, heat pumps or the high-voltage grid, among other things. Following this vote, the mandate for negotiations with Member States has been adopted and negotiations could start soon, with the potential for a deal before the summer.

Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and Rapporteur for the file, comments:

"F-gases are an invisible threat to our climate and undermine our efforts to stop global warming. Just as we halted the destruction of the ozone layer from CFCs, we can halt the impact of F-gases if we act now. We are sending a clear signal to the market: It’s time to switch to clean alternatives and remain at the forefront of producing clean products.

"As an alternative to the extreme greenhouse gases, the chemical industry has come up with a new generation of F-gases, often PFAS. These are better for the climate, but very bad for our environment and health. In our proposal, we mandate natural alternatives in most sectors.

"Heat pumps are essential for the green energy transition with tens of millions to be installed this decade. If we do that with extreme greenhouse gases, it will have a terrible impact on the climate and undermine our attempts to clean up our energy supplies. The proposal voted on today ensures that manufacturers of heat pumps will have to switch to natural alternatives in the coming years.

"This legislation has major consequences for a number of important European sectors, which is why the lobbying on this dossier was unprecedented. That we were able to get this over the line is also because many European companies - unlike their American, Chinese and Japanese competitors - have invested in sustainability. These companies themselves benefit greatly from this transition."


The last time the F-gases law was revised, it had major implications for the rest of the world. The 2014 European legislation became the blueprint for international action: the Kigali Amendment. Its implementation ensures a 0.4-degree temperature rise limitation.

The F-gases law is also closely intertwined with the debate over PFAS, a group of chemicals that hardly biodegrade in the environment and are harmful to health.

Natural alternatives are available for most sectors, but a ban on F-gases will still mean that companies will have to change the way they produce in the coming years.


European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
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Responsible MEPs

Bas Eickhout
Bas Eickhout

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