Retailers urged to speed up HFC phase-out

Supermarkets are at risk of higher costs from refrigeration systems using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as supply is slashed to meet new EU rules on the chemicals, which are potent greenhouse gases.

The warning comes from campaign groups the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which has been tracking retailers’ use of HFCs, and their uptake of more climate-friendly alternatives since 2008.

Since its last report in 2014, the EU F-gas regulation has come into force. This will cut HFC supply by around 48% in 2018, yet the take-up of HFC-free refrigeration is behind the pace needed to meet the EU’s HFC phase down, the EIA said. 

HFC producers and suppliers are responding to anticipated shortages by significantly increasing the cost of the most harmful HFCs. HFC-404A, which is used by many retailers across the majority of their estates, ...

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