Union Cabinet approves India’s negotiating position adopted at Kigali conference to Montreal Protocol
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. The negotiations at Kigali meet held in October 2016 were aimed at including HFCs in the list of chemicals under the
Montreal Protocol. The Union Cabinet has approved baseline and freeze years proposal of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest (MoEFCC) over the issue of phasing down the climate-damaging refrigerants hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as negotiated in Kigali meet. Key Facts In the Kigali meet, India had successfully negotiated the baseline years within a range of 2024 to 2030 and freeze year in subsequent years for phasing down the use of HFCs. It had two set of baselines years were agreed for developing countries. India along with nine other countries will have baseline years of 2024, 2025, 2026. India will completely phase down of HFCs in 4 steps from 2032 onwards with cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and 85% in 2047 It also gives additional HCFC allowance of 65% that will be added to the Indian baseline consumption and production. Other developing countries including China (largest producer of HFCs in the world), South Africa and Brazil opted for 2020-22 baseline. The developed countries on the other will hand reduce use of HFCs over a 2011-13 baseline and will reduce production and consumption of HFCs by 70% in 2029. The freeze year for India will be 2028 and it will be with a condition that there will be a technology review in 2024/2025. India’s position was mainly aimed at allowing sufficient room for growth of its domestic sectors using refrigerants. Background The Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention for Protection of Ozone Layer which entered force in January 1989 aimed to phase out the ozone depleting substances (ODS). At Kigali, it was decide to include HFCs in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol in order to regulate their production, consumption and phasing them out with time. It also added mechanism to provide financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund created under the Montreal Protocol. Under it, funding for R&D and servicing sector in developing countries also was included in the agreed solutions on finance. Kigali amendments to the Montreal Protocol also for the first time will incentivise improvement in energy efficiency in case of use of new refrigerant and technology. Note: HFCs are not ODS but potent global warming substances and controlling them can contribute substantially to limit global temperature and advance actions for addressing climate change.