British Refrigeration Association president John Austin-Davies has sent an open letter commenting on the proposed changes to F-Gas regulations.
The letter stated: “The specialist press and websites currently show many opinions and views from individuals and bodies who are reacting to the proposed changes to F-Gas regulations published in June.
“Before commenting on the effect should this change be confirmed, I commend the statement made by the FETA director general about the political loophole that has been used.
“The structure of the EU legislative bodies is complex, but it is clear here that the open discussion with input from MEPs has not taken place. There is a real question whether a true democratic decision has been taken, and the headline ‘A dark day for democracy in Europe’ is apt!
“I have two points that I would like to emphasise.
“Firstly, the commercial refrigeration industry has been subject to scrutiny due to the high GWP of refrigerants that have been used, and the industry has reacted assertively.
“Significant investment, and some business risk, has been applied to accelerate the introduction of natural refrigerants.
“With excellent collaboration between end-users and suppliers, with support from British Refrigeration Association and others, systems have been trialled, and technology and working practices to install and maintain have been refined.
“The momentum to provide a safe and energy efficient natural refrigerant solution is real. However, this does not mean that all types of application have solutions that all parties agree are safe and efficient, but investment into the work needed to find these answers continues.
“Secondly, the full impact of the dates proposed for banning certain refrigerants for particular application cannot be accurately assessed today, as we are still dealing with a proposal that is to be further debated, and uncertain date of application.
“However, we do know that an unrealistic timescale cannot be supported by an infrastructure where time is needed to adapt, and this will not be the same answer for different market sectors.
“The installed base of systems must be maintained, but what knowledge is there in Brussels of industry capacity or user finance that would be necessary to scrap systems before the end of their natural life and install new?
“The supply chain is complex, and if any element fails, then there is a massive impact in the distribution and retailing of chill and frozen food, and for the other applications of refrigerants that we depend on in our daily lives.
“We should applaud what has been achieved, and is being done today by our industry. It’s time for our industry to work together with the regulators to find a balance that meets the need to control refrigerants, with knowledge of what can practically and safely be achieved.”