Cool alternatives

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Mr Erlend Draget and Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg from the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi, Dr Arunabha Ghosh and Dr Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, on the occasion of the signing.

The Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, an Indian think tank, signed an agreement last week on a cooperation project for phasing down hydrofluorcarbons in India.

As per Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, agreed upon in October 2016, India’s hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) consumption and production will have to freeze by 2028.

Due to HFCs’ contribution to climate change, negotiators from 197 nations meeting at the summit of the United Nations Environment Programme in Kigali, Rwanda reached a legally-binding accord in October 2016, to phase out HFCs in an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

HFCs are commonly used in air conditioning and as refrigerants in place of the older chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons. They do not harm the ozone layer as much as the compounds they replace; however, they do contribute to global warming. Their atmospheric concentrations and contribution to human induced greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing, causing international concern about their warming effect.

Presently there is a lack of certainty for different industry and servicing sector stakeholders in India how the proposed freeze will affect them. It is, therefore, critical to understand the challenges faced by Indian industry and servicing sector.

The Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, an Indian think tank, signed an agreement on a cooperation project for phasing down HFCs in India. Under this collaboration project, the CEEW and the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) will look into what policy instruments like incentive mechanisms and regulations have to be devised to accelerate and support the transition from dangerous HFCs to less dangerous chemicals or to natural refrigerants.

We are happy that we through this initiative, can contribute to India’s efforts towards meeting its obligations under the Montreal Protocol.