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BELGIUM: Honeywell hails EC move on Germany MAC enforcement

By Simon Warburton | 29 September 2014

Honeywell says its product will reduce greenhouse gas effect by 99.9%

Honeywell says its product will reduce greenhouse gas effect by 99.9%

Honeywell says it welcomes the European Commission's (EC) move to give Germany two months to comply with the Mobile Air Conditioning Directive.

Brussels says unless Berlin complies with the Directive, concerning refrigerant applications in vehicles, it could refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

The issue has seen Mercedes-Benz mount a high-profile campaign in defence of its use of the r134a coolant as opposed to the r1234yf variant, a product manufactured by Honeywell and which the chemical producer says is safe and far less polluting.

"Honeywell welcomes the European Commission's action to support timely implementation of the EU MAC Directive to secure significant environmental gains and transition the automobile industry away from HFC-134a, which is a potent greenhouse gas with 1,300 times the emissions impact of carbon dioxide," said a Honeywell statement.

"The MAC Directive is a landmark piece of legislation designed to make a significant difference in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and throughout the rest of the world. Enacted into law in 2006, the MAC Directive allowed 11 years for the industry to prepare for its full implementation.
 
"Many automakers have selected HFO-1234yf as their new refrigerant because it is safe, cost-effective and its global warming potential of less than 1, which is lower than carbon dioxide."

Mercedes maintains r1234yf could present a fire hazard in certain conditions, but the automaker's use of r134a set it four square against the EC and France, which initially banned the German manufacturer from selling its A, B, CLA and SL models.

Honeywell insists its product will reduce the greenhouse impact by 99.9% and that more than 1.5m cars are on the road today safely using r1234yf and by the end of 2014, the number of vehicles will exceed 2m.

"The transition away from today's refrigerant to an alternative such as HFO-1234yf would remove the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of 30m vehicles from the world's roads, or about 3% of the global fleet," added Honeywell.

Mercedes was not available for comment.