A win-win deal
The agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol for hydrofluorocarbon phase-down is a huge success for India |
AT THE 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol held on October 10-15 in Kigali, Rwanda, 197 countries adopted an agreement to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (hfcs). These are super greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning appliances and have a global warming potential (gwp) thousands of times more than carbon dioxide (CO2). The agreement will result in reducing hfc emissions equivalent to about 70 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2045. Unlike the Paris climate accord on climate change, this agreement is legally binding because countries will have to implement trade barriers for banned refrigerant gases.
The agreement follows the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. There are four groups of countries—two groups each of developed and developing countries—having their own hfc reduction targets. Developed countries will reduce hfc use first, followed by developing countries. India will reduce the use of hfcs by 85 per cent from its baseline years, 2024-26, by 2047 (see ‘Course of action’). hfc consumption in the baseline years is used to calculate the maximum amount of hfcs a country can consume. Countries have to start reducing consumption from this “peak” consumption. More importantly, India will start reducing its hfc consumption in 2028—one year before the developed countries have reduced their consumption by 70 per cent, which, as per the targets accepted by the developed countries, will happen by 2029. According to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, “The agreement recognises the development imperatives of high-growth economies like India, and provides a realistic and
On October 15, a total of 197 countries agreed to substantially reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons by 2045 at Kigali, Rwanda