Phasing out HFCs: India Ratifies Kigali Agreement_00.1
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Phasing out HFCs: India Ratifies Kigali Agreement

 

Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

 

Context

  • The Union Cabinet has approved ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

 

Key points

  • A national strategy for the phase-down of HFCs as per the applicable schedule will be developed after consultation with industry stakeholders by 2023.
  • Phase-down of HFCs will prevent greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as the globe battles with the challenges of climate change.
  • Under this agreement, industries that produce and consume HFCs such as the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors will need to cut down on HFCs and shift to non-HFCs and low global warming potential technologies.
  • India will complete its phase-down of HFCs in four steps from 2032 onwards with a cumulative reduction of 10 per cent in 2032, 20 per cent in 2037, 30 per cent in 2042 and 80 per cent in 2047.
  • US and China have already ratified Kigali Agreement.

 

HFCs

  • These are organic compounds that contain fluorine and hydrogen atoms.
  • They are specifically manufactured, unlike other GHGs that are mostly by-products of other manufacturing processes.
  • They are used as replacements for CFCs and HCFCs.
  • They are used in air conditioning and as refrigerants.
  • Though HFCs do not cause ozone layer depletion, their global warming potential is thousand times more than other GHGs such as methane, carbon dioxide, etc.

 

Kigali Agreement to Montreal Protocol

  • It is a legally binding agreement between the signatories.
  • It upholds the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) as it sets different targets for countries depending upon development, socio-economic constraints, and varying technological capacities.
  • It divides the signatory countries into three groups:
    • First group: Developed countries, led by the US and the European Union countries, who should have started the phase-down of HFCs by 2019, and reduce the level to 15% of 2012 level by the year 2036.
    • Second group: Developing countries such as China and Brazil, who will start the phase-down by 2024 and decrease it to 20% of 2021 levels by the year 2045.
    • Third group: Developing countries like India and also some of the hottest nations, who will start the phase-down by 2028 and reduce the level to 15% of 2024-26 levels by the year 2047.

 

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