Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

Fluorinated greenhouse gases impact on climate change.  Climate change refers to significant change in the measures of climate, such as temperature, rainfall, or wind over a long period of time. Climate change is a natural phenomenon. However, the current phase of climate change being experienced is being accelerated by human activities that result in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases are those gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect. There are six greenhouse gases as follows:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6)  

Each of these gases is controlled by the global environmental agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) are collectively known as fluorinated greenhouse gases and are further controlled by specific EU legislation.

F gases are controlled by European Regulations (EC) No. 517/2014 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases. This Regulation aims to cut EU emissions of F-gases by two thirds by 2030 compared to levels in 2014. 

The F-gas Regulation:

  1. Controls emissions of F-gases by requiring leak checking, proper servicing and maintenance of F-gas equipment and recovery of F-gases at end of life.
  2. Introduces bans on the use of F-gases where less harmful alternatives are available.
  3. Limits the total amount of F-gases that can be sold in the EU through phased reductions in imports.

The main uses of fluorinated greenhouse gases are in stationary and mobile refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, fire protection, high voltage switch gear, semiconductor production as well as in foams, aerosols and metered dose inhalers. In many cases, HFCs have been used to replace ozone depleting substances such as CFCs and HCFCs in refrigeration and air conditioning systems and halons in fire protection systems.

In addition to the F-gas Regulation, there is a series of implementing European Regulations to address specific requirements as follows: 

  • Leak checking – stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector 
  • Leak checking – stationary fire protection systems
  • Certification of companies and personnel – stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector 
  • Certification of companies and personnel – stationary fire protection systems and fire extinguishers 
  • Certification of companies and personnel – high voltage switch gear 
  • Certification of companies and personnel – f-gas based solvents
  • Certification of companies and personnel – mobile air conditioning systems 
  • Labelling – equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases
  • Reporting formats – producers, importers and exporters

Learn more

Download a copy of the revised F-gas Regulation – Regulation 517/2014

Download a copy of the main Irish F-gas Regulations - S.I. No 279 of 2011 (these will need to be amended/replaced to take account of the revised F-gas Regulation)

Download a copy of the Irish F-gas Regulations designating EPA as competent authority - S.I. No 278 of 2011

Download the latest guidance here.

Contact F-gas Registration Ltd. (FGR), the company certification body in Ireland.

Read about the EU's action to control fluorinated greenhouse gases 

Read a summary of European legislation on F-gases

Visit the EPA’s climate change webpages

Visit the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government F-gas pages