THE BLACK MARKET FOR REFRIGERANT GAS IS THRIVING ACROSS EUROPE.
THIS ACTIVITY FINANCES ORGANISED CRIME, THREATENS LEGITIMATE SMALL BUSINESSES AND HALTS PROGRESS TO CLIMATE GOALS.
LET’S TAKE ACTION, NOW.
What's the problem?
Europe has a big, hidden problem. Every year, large amounts of refrigerant gas are smuggled into countries across Europe.
HFCs – short for Hydrofluorocarbons – are used in refrigeration, air conditioning systems, as blowing agents in sprays, foams and insulating materials and as fire extinguishing agents. They are highly effective and energy efficient refrigerants.
Due to HFCs having a high global warming potential (GWP), their production and use are being phased down. In Europe, this phase down is managed with quotas that promote a gradual shift to lower GWP alternatives.
These quotas are circumnavigated by criminal organisations, who make vast profits on the black market and through uncontrolled e-commerce. And by doing this, they also increase the amount of HFCs being circulated in Europe. Investigative agency Kroll has been able to build evidence of 3,000 tonnes or more of illegal HFCs. The estimated CO2 equivalent is more than 4.7 million tons, which is more than what 3.5 million new cars emit during a year. As these investigations are still ongoing, this could be only a small part of the whole story.
Europe cannot achieve its climate goals if we don’t all do our part to stop this.
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.