Cabinet nod to Kigali Amendment on cutting down of HFCs

Published on Aug 19, 2021 12:35 AM IST

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, the ministry of environment said in a press statement on Wednesday

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HT Image
ByJayashree Nandi

New Delhi:

The Union Cabinet has approved the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, the ministry of environment said in a press statement on Wednesday.

The Kigali Amendment aims to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by curbing both their production and consumption. Though HFCs do not impact the ozone layer, they are powerful greenhouse gases. HFCs are currently used as replacements for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were ozone-depleting gases.

“With the Kigali Amendment, the Montreal Protocol will be an even more powerful instrument against global warming,” says the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The goal of the amendment is to achieve over 80% reduction in HFC consumption by 2047, which will curb a global increase of temperature by up to 0.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

According to a statement by the environment ministry on HFC phasedown, a national strategy will be developed after consultations with all 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 HFCs to ensure compliance with the Kigali Amendment will be done by mid-2024.

Following a massive growth in the use of HFCs, especially in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector the, parties to the Montreal Protocol reached an 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% by the late 2040s. India will complete its phase-down in four steps from 2032 onwards with a cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and 80% in 2047, according to a statement by the ministry.

The industry producing and consuming HFCs will be phasing them out as agreed and transition to non-HFC and low global warming potential technologies.

“HFCs are entirely man-made. They are primarily produced for use in refrigeration, air-conditioning, insulating foams and aerosol propellants, with minor uses as solvents and for fire protection. Most HFCs are contained within equipment, so emissions are the result of wear, faulty maintenance, or leakage at the end of a product’s lifetime,” according to Climate and Clean Air Coalition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Montreal Protocol (1987) is one of the world’s most successful environmental treaties, and since its adoption, it has encouraged countries to commit to phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, according to the UNEP. The Protocol has been successful in reducing ozone-depleting substances and reactive chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere. As a result, the ozone layer is showing the first signs of recovery, UNEP has said.

“The success of the Montreal Protocol is a role model for multilateral action on climate change. It shows that clear targets and policies by the government can prompt industry to switch technologies,” said Ulka Kelkar, director of climate programme at World Resources Institute.

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