UK: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is to call for a ban on HFC refrigerants in single-split air conditioning units in Europe.

As part of its submission to the current review of the European F-gas regulation (517/2014), the EIA is pushing for a move to the use of the hydrocarbon refrigerant propane (R290). In support of this, it is also working to secure an increase in the allowable charge sizes for propane in residential air conditioning.

Recent research carried out by the German environmental research institution Öko Recherché  estimated that 62MtCO2e could be saved by 2050 by a switch to R290 in Europe. A similar worldwide ban from 2025 could see savings of 5.6GtCO2e globally.

Writing on the EIA website, EIA Climate Campaigner Sophie Geoghegan, said: “We’re pleased that this new research spells out the very real and vital savings that can be made from taking such an approach.

“This research spells out the clear climate benefits of a speedy transition and avoiding locking in climate-damaging, inefficient cooling equipment. It also makes a clear case for a positive revised standard for flammable refrigerants and for the EU to once again lead by example with a ban on HFC single-split air conditioning units as soon as possible.”

Referring to the EIA’s proposals, Sophie Geoghegan said: “If we are successful, it will enable more climate-friendly and efficient cooling appliances to come to the marketplace and will build confidence in flammable refrigerants for installers and consumers.”

The European Commission is currently seeking feedback on revisions to the F-gas regulations. This is open until September 7. Following that there will a public consultation, with any changes being finalised in late 2021.