The EU remains on track to meet its goal to phase-down the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases).

The data is released in an EEA report Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases 2019 and compiles that reported in 2019 by European companies on the production, import, export, destruction and feedstock use of F-gases until 2018. It looks at the progress made under both the ongoing EU-wide phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and the global HFC phase-down, which began in 2019 under the so-called Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

F-gases are synthetic chemicals used in everything from refrigerators, heat pumps to air conditioners. The EEA report also details the different amounts of F-gases supplied for various industrial applications. These are expressed both in physical amounts (in tonnes) and in ‘global warming amounts’, ie physical amounts weighted by the global warming potential of hydrofluorocarbon gases and measured in CO2-equivalent tonnes (CO2e).

Key findings from the data release show that:

  • in 2018, the EU-wide quantity of HFCs placed on the market stayed below the overall market limit for the third year in a row, by 1%

  • the volume of total supply of F-gases in the EU was 14% lower in 2018 than in 2017, and the overall warming effect decreased by 30% (CO2e). Refrigeration and air conditioning continue to be key applications

  • total imports of F-gases to the EU in 2018 decreased by 7% compared with 2017 (25% if measured in CO2e). Most of this decrease is due to lower HFC imports, and the remainder is caused by decreases in imports of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

  • F-gas emissions have been decreasing in the EU since 2015, after 15 years of uninterrupted annual increases. In 2017, total fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2%.

Last reviewed 13 February 2020