- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by the Government of India at the recent Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention for Protection of Ozone Layer that took place during 6-14 October, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda.
- The negotiations at Kigali were aimed at including Hydrofluoro Carbons (HFCs) in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol with a view to regulate their production and consumption and phase them down over a period of time with financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund created under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are not ozone depleting but global warming substance and if controlled, can contribute substantially to limiting the global temperature and advance actions for addressing climate change.
- The Cabinet also approved the proposal of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to argue for adoption of an appropriate baseline years from out of 3 options within a range of 2024 to 2030 with freeze in a subsequent year. The Cabinet approved the flexibility of using any of the options within this range with a combination of the features of the proposed options in consultation with the Government. During negotiations held at Kigali India successfully negotiated the baseline years and freeze years which will allow sufficient room for the growth of the concerned sectors using refrigerants being manufactured domestically thus ensuring unhindered growth with least additional cost and maximum climate benefits.
- It was agreed at Kigali that there would be two set of baselines or peak years for developing countries and India will have baseline years of 2024, 2025, 2026. This decision gives additional HCFC allowance of 65% that will be added to the Indian baseline consumption and production. The freeze year for India will be 2028, with a condition that there will be a technology review in 2024/2025 and, if the growth in the sectors using refrigerants is above certain agreed threshold, India can defer its freeze up to 2030. On the other hand, developed countries will reduce production and consumption of HFCs by 70% in 2029. As per the decisions taken in Kigali, India will complete its phase down in 4 steps from 2032 onwards with cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and 85% in 2047.
- The Kigali amendments to the Montreal Protocol will also, for the first time, incentivise improvement in energy efficiency in case of use of new refrigerant and technology. Funding for R&D and servicing sector in developing countries has also been included in the agreed solutions on finance.