Emissions SMMT News

UK urges common sense on euro gas debate

13 January 2004 #Emissions #SMMT News
  • Government and motor industry work to minimise air conditioning gas emissions
  • UK call for EU to adopt practical reduction measures
  • UK proposes solution to gas debate

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is working with government in support of an EU-wide framework to ensure the reduction of emissions from car air conditioning units.

Recognising the importance of global climate change and its commitment to improving the environmental effects of its products, the UK motor industry is discussing implementation procedures of a new draft European directive.

Following the Kyoto protocol regulating the use of fluorinated gases, the legislation aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from all air conditioning systems. The proposal is designed as a step towards ensuring the responsible use and effective containment of fluorinated gases.

Backed by the findings of a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), SMMT believes that the new legislation will only be effective if a realistic timescale is applied. On behalf of the UK motor industry, SMMT are now calling for the EU to adopt practical measures to implement the gas regulation.

A significant time period must be allowed for an effective process to measure gas leakage to be developed. This must occur before limit rates and containment measures are set. DEFRA and SMMT believe the proposed date of 1 January 2005 is impossible to achieve.

SMMT also believes that the use of HFC-134a, a coolant fluorinated gas used in air conditioning, should receive a total ban across all new vehicle types from 1 January 2012, instead of the current proposed phase out period up to 2014. The total ban will produce the same reduction in emissions at a faster rate and without the administration costs of a quota system.

The European Standing Committee A will meet on Wednesday 14 January 2004 to debate the draft European regulation on fluorinated gases.

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