Kigali Agreement The Hindu
While Indian negotiators have reached an agreement, the country can face many challenges. Financial assistance to developing countries has not been fully decided in Kigali. With the phasing out of CFCs, government and industry need to expand their support for national research to ensure that technically sound and cost-effective options are available to all sectors. The Paris Agreement and the 2016 Kigali Agreement in the Montreal Protocol have drawn attention to the close links between cooling, energy demand and climate change and are aimed at addressing these challenges. The goal is to reduce the production and use of high-global warming HFCs by more than 30% over the next 30 years. The need for the amendment stems from the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which controls ozone-depleting substances. Because CFCs have been used as an alternative to ozone-depleting substances in refrigeration facilities, their role in global warming has become a major problem. In 2016, the parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the CFC Convention concluding the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 28) in Kigali, Rwanda. Governments have agreed that it will come into force on January 1, 2019, provided that at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol have ratified it. On 17 November 2017, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago tabled their ratification instruments, exceeding the required threshold. Although it took seven years to materialize, the Kigali agreement amending the Montreal Protocol and significantly limiting the emissions of fluorocarbons (HFCs) that contribute to global warming is a major step forward. The important role played by this group of chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning techniques is illustrated by the scientific estimate that, without a mitigation plan, CFCs could heat the world with an additional half measure by the end of the century.
As with other global environmental pacts, India has insisted that the Rwanda negotiations be more lenient. In the end, it agreed to begin freezing Operation HFC in 2028, four years later than the peer club countries of China, Brazil and Africans, and get a maximum reduction by 2047, two years later. In contrast, India has ordered the manufacturers of HFC 23, a by-product of another chemical used in the production of refrigerant gases, which surprisingly contribute to global warming, to identify it and dispose of it at their own expense. This decision is particularly important given the development of refrigeration and air conditioning systems in India, with increased revenues, resulting in a greater release of HFCs into the atmosphere. Under the amendment, all countries will gradually reduce HFCs by more than 80% over the next 30 years and replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives. A certain group of industrialized countries will begin to gradually become debt-ridted in 2019. Several developing countries will freeze consumption of CFCs in 2024, followed by other countries in 2028. The schedule for progressive planning is detailed here. The amendment also contains agreements on CFC destruction technologies, data reporting requirements and capacity-building provisions for developing countries.