Joint statement on the importance of fluoropolymers in the energy transition

Joint statement on the importance of fluoropolymers in the energy transition 

T&D Europe and 14 other signatories have released a joint statement on the importance of fluoropolymers to the energy transition and the EU’s net-zero industrial aspirations.

As things currently stand, fluoropolymers are included in the proposed EU-wide ban of over 10,000 hazardous per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – an essential pillar of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy and of the EU’s commitment to improving the quality of our air and water and of the products we consume.

Fluoropolymers, however, are an essential component in a wide array of clean technologies focused on achieving the climate goals of net zero by 2050 and creating a clean and sustainable Europe.

Renewable energy technologies, hydrogen and hydrogen-related technologies, batteries and other flexibility solutions for the energy system, refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, zero emission vehicles as well as the associated infrastructure, and electricity grid technologies – all of these technologies and their upstream value chains, including semiconductors, machinery and electronic manufacturing sectors rely at some point in the value chain on the presence of fluoropolymers. There is no suitable alternative with their conductivity, chemical/thermal stability, and mechanical strength under harsh use conditions, nor are there any alternatives on the horizon.

The signatories of this statement support the European Union efforts on reducing the use of PFAS across our society and our environment, and the addressing of such efforts through the appropriate regulatory measures. But in doing so, we believe there needs to be a science-based, differentiated approach to the various types of PFAS, based on their essentiality, their environmental impact and availability of alternatives.

The signatories call on legislators to reassess the position of fluoropolymers within the PFAS restriction in favour of a rational, proportional, and differentiated approach that will not undermine the hundreds of billions of euros invested into European clean tech so far, and the crucial role these technologies will play in helping us to decarbonise our entire society.