EXTRA!!! News and Editorial from R744.com:
Brussels, Belgium — 2009-04-09 — The German car industry has stopped all developments on new refrigerants, planning to simply not comply with a EU law banning the current fluid R134a from 2011 on, according to the German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe. Germany’s leading TV channel ARD will focus on this issue today.
German carmakers have stopped all development plans for next-generation refrigerant currently discussed worldwide to replace R134a. Instead, they plan to still use the high global warming fluid R134a several years after the 2011 deadline set down in a EU Directive banning all refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of above 150. This boycott of EU legislation would not only prolong the use of climate-damaging refrigerants for up to six years, but would also keep the German automotive industry from gaining technological leadership urgently needed in the current economic crisis it faces. These are the main messages emerging from a new press release issued by the German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe – an active advocate of sustainable refrigerants in Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC).
Although Matthias Wissmann, President of Germany’s automotive association VDA, issued a clear commitment to the natural refrigerant CO2 already in September 2007, and reconfirmed Germany’s choice some months later, now all efforts to move towards serial production seem to have stopped. As a result, the car industry intends to undermine the EU law stipulating that from 2011 on no new car will get type approval when using R134a. With the clock ticking until this first deadline, and the Germans clearly having eliminated the competing chemical HFO-1234yf as “no option”, the only conclusion to be drawn would be a deliberate boycott by the industry, DUH states:
“If 1234yf is reportedly rejected by a majority of companies and at the same time no contract is being signed for CO2 systems, I wonder with which refrigerant the automobile industry intends to comply with the EU rules,” says Eva Lauer, DUH Project Leader for MAC.
Germans to miss out on huge economic opportunity
“If, due to economic difficulties, the boards of the car companies are stuck in a state of shock it is up to the VDA President to remind them to hold on to the already developed strategies towards a greening of the auto industry and resulting market opportunities”, the press release goes on. CO2 Technology, developed in Germany, would secure employment and a technological leadership. Wissmann, announcing in 2007 that the industry would move to the global forefront of climate protection in this “ecologically important field” should now walk the talk, prevent a breach of word and actively approach a timely compliance with the EU law through early investments in sustainable alternatives.
German TV to unveil industry’s boycott
To further draw attention to the fact that previously announced efforts for climate protection are in danger to be abandoned through a decisive non-compliance of carmakers with legislation, the political TV programme “Kontraste”, aired on Germany’s leading TV channel ARD, has prepared a report on “How the air conditioning kills the climate – automakers block climate protection.” The programme will be broadcast today, Thursday, 9.45 pm CET. R744.com will keep you updated on further developments over the next days.
From this R744.com article