The tax is among measures the government is introducing to tackle climate change.
Nicolas Hulot, before he became French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, at COP 21, in Paris, France.
With this new initiative, France joins other European countries like Denmark, Poland, Spain and Norway in introducing a tax on HFCs.
French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Nicolas Hulot, responsible for the environment, announced the tax as part of France’s Climate Plan, called ‘one planet, one plan’, on 6 July 2017.
"We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people's daily lives," Minister Hulot said.
The climate plan is part a larger investment plan announced by French President Emmanuel Macron for whom "the ecological transition [is] a priority," the minster added.
“We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people's daily lives."
– Nicolas Hulot, French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
Even though the amount of the tax on HFCs has not been agreed on yet, the French government believes it will “encourage the development of alternatives [to] hydroflurocarbons”, its Climate Plan states.
The HFC tax will cover all sectors including commercial and industrial refrigeration, air conditioning and refrigerated transport.
A confidential note drawn up by the French Government – obtained by La Rpf, the French Refrigeration magazine – says the tax is likely to be at 30.5 euros per tonne of CO2 equivalent.
According to estimates for 2018, the quantities that would be subject to taxation would be approximately 12 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
It is worth pointing out that a tax credit would be introduced for 25% of the cost required to switch equipment to HFC-free technology, opening up the doors to natural refrigerant technology.
The HFC tax will make up part of a broader carbon tax that will be introduced in France's 2018 budget before becoming law.
The Climate Plan, announced by the French minister, also aims to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. The country will stop issuing new oil and gas exploration permits this year, and stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022, he added.