A win-win deal

The agree­ment to amend the Montreal Pro­to­col for hy­droflu­o­ro­car­bon phase-down is a huge suc­cess for In­dia |

Down to Earth - - SPECIAL REPORT - UMANG JALAN

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

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