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Sulphur Hexafluoride

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 46924, tabled on 10 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of phasing out the use of SF6 gas in electrical switchgear in response to its high global warming potential.

Answered on

15 September 2021

Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) is a potent fluorinated greenhouse gas (F-gas) that contributes to climate change. F-gases currently represent about 3% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, with SF6 emissions representing around 3% of those F-gas emissions. The UK has made significant progress in reducing and controlling the use of F-gases, highlighted by the 34.3% reduction in UK emissions of all F-gases since 1995 levels.

Compliance with the F-gas Regulation 2014 is how the UK currently controls SF6 emissions. Under the Regulation, equipment containing SF6 is subject to requirements on leak reduction, checking and rapid repair using appropriately qualified personnel. The intentional release of SF6 is also prohibited and steps must be taken to minimise unintentional release.

We are currently reviewing the provisions of the F-gas Regulation which we are required to complete by no later than 2022. As part of the review, we will consider how we can go further in support of the UK's net zero target. We will be assessing all parts of the Regulation, including the provisions relating to SF6 use, in light of this.

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