Run by criminal organisations, it is disguised, dangerous and damaging. This black market is for smuggled refrigerant gases. The gases in question are called HFCs, short for Hydrofluorocarbons. HFCs are widely used in refrigerators, air conditioning systems, aerosols and fire extinguishers.
Since 2015, HFCs are being phased down in Europe while suitable alternatives are being developed and deployed. HFCs represent a small percentage of total greenhouse gases, however most countries in the world have committed to reducing the production and consumption of HFCs to minimise their climate impact.
The EU has committed to this phase down through a managed quota system within the F-gas regulation, which entered into force in 2015. By 2030, nearly 80% less HFCs will be permitted for use in Europe.
This works directly against the regulation’s climate objective. It also compromises efforts to replace HFCs with better alternatives and undermines the EU’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2050.
To avoid putting our climate goals at risk, we need to eradicate the black market for HFCs.
How do we achieve this? By:
If you have knowledge of, or see, any suspicious or illegal trading activity, report it. We will protect your anonymity and take the necessary steps to investigate.