Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for ratification of Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete Ozone Layer for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India, adopted by the parties to Montreal Protocol on October 2016.
"National strategy for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons as per the applicable phase-down schedule for India will be developed after required consultation with all the industry stakeholders by 2023," the Central government said.
Further, talking of its implementation strategy, the government said, "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 benefits HFC phasedown, as listed by the Union cabinet, includes prevention of greenhouse gas emissions, therefore helping to prevent climate change. The industries producing and consuming Hydrofluorocarbons will also phase out the HCFs, as per the agreed schedule under and transition to non-HFC and low global warming potential technologies.
The HCF phasedown is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million tonne of carbon dioxide 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, the government informed in a press release.
Further, as per the government, the implementation of HFC phase-down under the Kigali Amendment through the adoption of low-global warming potential and energy-efficient technologies will achieve energy efficiency gains^ and carbon dioxide emissions reduction - a "climate co-benefit".
"HFCs phrase down implementation will involve synergies with on-going government programmes and schemes of the Government of India with the objective to maximize the economic arid social co-benefits, besides environmental gains," the release stated.
The phasedown is also expected to increase the scope for domestic manufacturing of equipment as well as alternative non-HFC and low-global warming potential chemicals to enable the industry to transition to the low global warming potential alternatives.
In addition, there would be opportunities to promote domestic innovation for new generation alternative refrigerants and related technologies, the government added.
Under the Kigali Amendment; Parties to the Montreal Protocol will phase down production and consumption of Hydrofluorocarbons, commonly known as HFCs. Hydrofluorocarbons were introduced as a non-ozone-depleting alternative to Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). While HFCs do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, they have high global warming potential ranging from 12 to 14,000, which have an adverse impact on climate.
"Recognizing the growth in the use of HFCs, especially in 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 per cent by the late 2040s. India will complete its phase-down of HFCs in 4 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 release stated.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, is an international environmental treaty for the protection of the Ozone Layer by phasing out the production and consumption of man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The stratospheric ozone layer protects humans: and the environment from harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
India became a Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on June 19, 1992, and since then has ratified the amendments to the Montreal Protocol. Though the present approval of the Cabinet, India will be ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons.
"India has successfully met the phase-out targets of all the Ozone Depleting Substances as per the Montreal Protocol Schedule," the government said.