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F-Gases and Ozone-Depleting Substances

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) are a group of chemicals containing fluorine.  F-gases are powerful greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are gases which damage the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.  They are being phased out, but can be found in older equipment.  There are also a few exceptions for certain uses.

Common uses for ODS and F-gases include refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, aerosols, solvents, foam blowing agents, firefighting fluids and high voltage switchgear.

In 2014, the EU agreed a new Regulation for F-gases, which came into force in January 2015, and will see the EU’s F-gas emissions cut by two-thirds by 2030, compared with 2014 levels.  The new UK-wide F Gas Regulation 2015 came into force on 19 March 2015, and implements the EU F-Gas Regulation 2014.

Enforcement arrangements for the F-Gas Regulation are currently being finalised across the UK between departments and regulators.  In Scotland, the Regulations make full provision for enforcement powers to be exercised by the Scottish Ministers, SEPA and local authorities.  Further discussions are taking place across the UK to agree on a proportionate approach to ensuring enforcement, and further guidance will be provided in due course, once the new regime is underway.

The EU also controls ozone-depleting substances via the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulation 2009.  In the UK, this is implemented via the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations 2015.

Further Information

UK Government F Gas homepage

UK Government F Gas guidance

UK F Gas Regulations 2015

European Commission F Gas homepage

SEPA F Gases and ODS homepage

UK Government ODS homepage

UK Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations 2015

European Commission ODS homepage