Phase down of hydrofluorocarbons approved
GS Paper - 3 (Environment)
The Union Cabinet on 18 August 2021 gave its nod for ratification of the Kigali Amendment for phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted by the parties to the Montreal Protocol at its 28th meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in October, 2016.
- A national strategy for phase down of hydrofluorocarbons will be developed after required consultation with all the industry stakeholders by 2023.
- Amendments to the existing legislation framework, the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules to allow appropriate control of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons to ensure compliance with the Kigali Amendment will be done by mid-2024.
- The phase down of HFCs is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million tonnes of carbondioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases, helping to avoid up to 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
- According to the amendment, implementation of HFC phase down through the adoption of low-global warming potential and energy-efficient technologies will achieve energy efficiency gains and carbon dioxide emissions reduction which is a "climate co-benefit."
- All amendments and adjustments of the Montreal Protocol, prior to the Kigali Amendment have universal support.
- India became a Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 19 June 1992 and since then has ratified the amendments to the Montreal Protocol.
- India has successfully met the phase out targets of all the Ozone Depleting Substances as per the Montreal Protocol Schedule.
- Recognising the growth in use of HFCs, especially in refrigeration and air-conditioning sector, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol reached agreement at their 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) held in October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda to add HFCs to the list of controlled substances and approved a timeline for their gradual reduction by 80-85 per cent by the late 2040s.
- Hydrofluorocarbons were introduced as non-ozone depleting alternatives to chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) such as R-12 and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) such as R-21. While HFCs do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, they have high global warming potential ranging from 12 to 14,000, which have adverse impact on climate.
- The stratospheric ozone\layer protects humans and the environment from harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- India will complete its phase down of HFCs in four steps from 2032 onwards with cumulative reduction of 10 per cent in 2032, 20 per cent in 2037, 30 per cent in 2042 and 80 per cent in 2047, the government said.