The U.S.-based Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has expressed its disappointment and concern regarding the European Parliament's Environmental Committee vote on March 16 to ban HFC-containing refrigerators and a number of specialized refrigeration applications.
The amendments, which are part of comprehensive legislation to regulate HFCs, were approved by the Committee by a margin of one vote. The ban would go into effect by 2008.
"The industry supports uniform European HFC regulation, but the Kyoto Protocol doesn't contemplate product bans, resulting in trade barriers, to accomplish its goals," Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president said in a statement. "It focuses on reducing emissions, which U.S. producers have already achieved in their manufacturing operations and throughout the useful product life of the refrigerators they manufacture."
According to Mr. McGuire, the ban would bar the sale of U.S. refrigerators in Europe at an already difficult time for the U.S. manufacturing base. "It also arbitrarily denies European manufacturers a proven option to produce energy efficient products," he added. "We have worked with The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) and other European allies to demonstrate that U.S.-produced products are energy efficient and don't allow leakage of HFCs. And, with the European requirement to recover fluorocarbon refrigerant and foam at the end-of-life, these refrigerators contribute positively to climate change mitigation.
"This trade barrier threatens the free and integrated U.S.-European trade in appliances and related products. We will continue to oppose it throughout the legislative process and work closely with our European colleagues and our Government to urge more appropriate solutions," Mr. McGuire stated.
to Daily News