India puts forth surprise proposal to tackle HFCs

PTI Kigali | Updated on January 16, 2018

India has come up with a surprise proposal to increase the ambition of developed and developing countries to tackle the menace of Hydroflurocarbons, amid intense efforts by negotiators from nealy 200 countries here to strike a deal to phase-down the harmful refrigerant gas.

At the Open Ended Working Group meeting at the Kigali Convention Centre yesterday, India agreed to consider an early baseline year for bringing down HFC consumption, provided developed countries agree to an early “freeze year” and drastically reduce the consumption of the climate-damaging greenhouse gas.

However, the proposal has not yet received favourable response from the developed countries.

The baseline is the maximum quantity of Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) that a country can consume in a year. Freeze year is the year in which the baseline consumption has to be reached.

After that, countries have to start reducing HFC consumption from baseline.

Manoj Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and lead Indian negotiator, said India has proposed developed countries to freeze their HFC consumption by 2016 and reduce it to 70 per cent by 2026 or 2027.

“We have requested a steeper reduction from the developed countries but there is no change in their position,” he said about the developments unfolding ahead of the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, taking place in Rwanda between October 10-14.

Sources known to the development said India has proposed an early baseline year for developing countries if developed countries agree to reduce their HFC consumption faster.

India has also asked for more finance and better access to technology to increase its ambition.

In the past, India had proposed baseline for developing countries as average consumption of HFCs in year 2028, 2029 and 2030 and Freeze year of 2031.

However, in the informal meetings held on the sidelines of OEWG, India has agreed to consider preponing the baseline to 2025 and 2026 and cut HFC consumption by 10 per cent by 2032, if developed countries agree to freeze their HFC consumption by 2016 and reduce HFC consumption by 70 per cent by 2026 or 2027.

Currently, developed countries are planning to reduce their HFC consumption by 70 per cent by 2030.

“We want a strong amendment proposal so that HFCs are reduced faster in both developed and developing countries.

This shows our concern for climate,” said Singh.

Published on October 09, 2016

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