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DuPont calls on EU and German authorities to complete HFO-1234y work; “high time to get final clarity”
20 October 2013
Thierry Vanlancker, president, DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts, issued a statement calling on German and European Union authorities to quickly bring closure to questions about safety related to HFO-1234yf, the low global warming potential (GWP) mobile air conditioning refrigerant targeted as the replacement for the current refrigerant, R134a. (Earlier post.)
Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), conducted testing earlier this year designed to end the safety debate. On Aug. 7, 2013, the KBA announced in a preliminary report that their tests produced no adequate evidence of a serious risk related to HFO-1234yf, and based on this KBA does not plan to take further action.
The European Commission responded by proposing to conduct a final independent review of the KBA testing method and results, to once and for all bring an end to the debate. This independent review would be based on KBA’s final report, which was expected to be submitted by the end of September at the latest. However, the EU is apparently still waiting for the KBA to submit its final report. This creates yet another unnecessary administrative delay to finally make progress. DuPont hopes to see swift action by the KBA in finalizing and submitting its report as it already is weeks behind the target date, without clear reasons or clear indication of timing.
Nearly 10 months after the European Union’s MAC Directive went into force, a number of car models that were expected to transition to a refrigerant with low global warming potential under the regulation are still using the old refrigerant. So it is high time to get final clarity with respect to safety to enable automakers to accelerate the transition. The MAC Directive has potential to eliminate millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is a central part of the sustainability initiatives for the European Union.—Thierry Vanlancker
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