India seeks more time to phase out HFCs

India seeks more time to phase out HFCs

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Reversing its long opposition, India has made a formal proposal to phase down HFCs. India has, however, sought a “grace to amend the Montreal Protocol to bring phasing down of climate-damaging refrigerant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which period” of 15 years to phase down HFCs so that its domestic industries get enough time to switch over to technically feasible and economically viable alternatives. If the grace period is accepted, developing countries will phase down the refrigerant to an agreed level by 2050 as against the deadline of 2035 for rich nations including the US, Japan and EU countries. The move is expected to help the world cut down emission of this dangerous greenhouse gas substantially by 2050 and avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the 21st century.  The amendment, once adopted, will make all developing countries, including India, compulsorily phase down HFC under the Montreal Protocol which, at present, does not have a mandate to deal with the non-ozone depleting substance. Under the proposal, India now wants to phase down production and consumption of HFCs using “expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol” and continue to include HFCs within the scope of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol for “accounting and reporting of emissions”. Keeping interests of its domestic business in mind, India, at the same time, insisted that the phase down of HFCs will depend on “flexibilities in terms of choice of alternative technologies and timeframe for transitioning to safe, technically proven, energy-efficient and economically and commercially via¬ble technologies”.