Northern Ireland HFC and ODS Market Analysis

11 June 2021

Aether, alongside Barbara Gschrey (Oko Recherche), David Tyrer (Air Quality Consultants) and Ray Gluckman (Gluckman Consulting) have been supporting the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in undertaking a analysis of the markets of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in Northern Ireland (NI).

The study was conducted by means of a scoping survey which was distributed amongst all identified organisations and key actors in the supply chain of HFCs and ODS in Northern Ireland, followed by interviews with key stakeholders.

The study addressed the following key objectives:

  1. To understand better the scale of the markets, trade and use of HFCs and ODS in Northern Ireland.
  2. To help ensure a smooth transition for these sectors as Northern Ireland continues to apply EU law on HFCs and ODS.
  3. To help understand the impact of potential divergence of laws on HFCs and ODS between Northern Ireland (operating under EU law) and Great Britain (operating under the new GB quota system).
  4. To decide upon the scale of resources needed to enforce legislation applying to HFCs and ODS.
  5. To gain more information to help DAERA and district councils in Northern Ireland carry out their enforcement more effectively.

Whilst findings on market size and structure are commercially sensitive, the study concludes that there is no observable and significant threat to consistent supply of HFCs and ODS to Northern Ireland as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol. Through engagement with stakeholders the study has revealed that a number of alterations to trade flows have already occurred in response to the Northern Ireland Protocol following the UK’s exit from the European Union. This report has highlighted that the major implication for supply chains has been that of the shift of bulk gas supply shipments from GB to EU subsidiaries to avoid the new quota implications of exporting to Northern Ireland from GB which was previously permitted under EU intra trade.

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