Domestic activities

The European Union completed the phase-out of ozone depleting substances in 2010. The EU has already banned certain uses of HFCs and put in place strict rules to prevent their leakage from products and to ensure that such products are treated appropriately at the end of their life. These measures are expected to halve projected HFC emissions: a reduction of up to 100 MtCO2eq per year. The European Commission is now preparing a revision of EU legislation targeting the use of HFCs in new equipment to ensure additional cost-efficient emissions reduction in line with ambitious climate goals. The Commission is also preparing a major review and revision of the air pollution policies for 2013 reducing air pollution and that will also aim at reducing short lived climate pollutants. Regarding black carbon emissions the Commission is conducting a study to develop an emission inventory method for black carbon emissions following agreement on the revised Gothenburg Protocol. 

The Commission is carrying out a comprehensive review of the EU Strategy on Air Pollution. The review looks at potential synergies between air quality and climate change, notably black carbon. The review will be finished in 2013. It will also update know how on technical options and costs to reduce short lived climate forcers. This is especially important for further emission reductions from vehicles, off-road machinery, sulphur from ships and diesel related fuels as well as coal used in small combustion installation and from field burning in agriculture. 

The Commission is also reviewing the EU's Thematic Strategy on Waste. That includes a review of the EU landfill directive. The landfill Directive has a target to reduce biodegradable waste landfilled by 65% in 2018. Methane emissions from landfills in the EU dropped 35% (some 56 Million ton CO2-equivalent) between 1990 and 2010. The Commission's roadmap on resource efficiency has an indicative target to virtually eliminating landfilling for all untreated waste. Enshrining such a target in binding legislation could further reduce methane emissions. 

International activities

The Commission is actively spreading and sharing the necessary technical knowledge globally on ozone depleting substances including HFCs. It participated in a technology conference in Bangkok to discuss existing achievements in Europe on the legislation in place on F-gases covering containment, recovery, labelling, reporting, bans/restrictions (in particular automotive sector) and certification for personnel. The European Development Fund already provided funding for 140 projects in Africa to support cleaner energy in rural communities reducing black carbon. The Commission agreed to make €1 million available to UNEP to support the work of the coalition and is examining further possibilities to scale up its support for international actions to reduce short lived climate pollutants.

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