India negotiates its position at Montreal Protocol for ozone layer protection

The Indian Government has given its assent for the negotiating position adopted at the recent meeting of parties to the Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone layer which concluded at Kigali, Rwanda on 14th October 2016.

The latest deliberations by the August world body were aimed at limiting the HFC or Hydrofluoric Carbons and finally phase them out from use over a reasonable period. HFC was touted as a replacement of CFC’s or Chlorofluorocarbons in the refrigeration industry. CFC’s were indicted for causing harm to the life-giving Ozone layer which protected the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiations from the sun.

However, HFC over time was found to be worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Its use was therefore not recommended especially with global temperatures increasing to levels never seen in the last million years on the planet. Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change to ask for acceptance of a suitable baseline years from the three options within a range of 2024 to 2030 with a freeze in a subsequent year.

The Cabinet also approved the use of different options which does not contravene any options provided by the agreement to limit the use of HFC. India had successfully negotiated a broad consensus on the baseline years and freeze years so as to enable the domestic industry to find suitable refrigerants’ which does not cause any harm to the ecology of the planet. It will also help the concerned sectors to tide over the financial burden which will go along with the measures to replace HFC with better alternatives.

It is due to India’s efforts which helped the adoption of 2024, 2025, 2026 as the baseline years for developing countries. There will be a review in 2024/2025 and if things will not go according to plan, India will have an extra grace period till 2030 or else India will freeze the use of HFC by 2028.India will phase out the use of HFC in steps from 2032 onwards and enforce a reduction of 10% by 2032, 20% by 2037, 30% by 2042 and 85% by 2047.

It is for the first time at that suitable incentive has been provided for improvement in energy efficiency by using new refrigerant and technology. The developed countries will also fund R&D efforts in developing countries.

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