Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

[op-ed snap] Kigali warning  

  • Theme: Kigali accord which amends the Montreal Protocol of 1989 to allow it to eliminate HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons).
  • The accord divides the world into three groups.
  • First group: The richest countries, including the US and European Union nations, will freeze the production and consumption of HFCs by 2018 and reduce their use to about 15 per cent of 2012 levels by 2036.
  • Second group: A group of developing countries, including China, Brazil and South Africa, are mandated to freeze HFC use by 2024 and reduce it to 20 per cent of their average value in 2020-22 by 2045.
  • Third group: India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and oil economies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will have to freeze HFC use by 2028 and reduce it to about 15 per cent of 2025 levels by 2047.
  • What are HFCs? They comprise a small part of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere and do not harm the ozone layer. But their heat-trapping capacity is more than a thousand times that of carbon dioxide, making them far more destructive to the climate than the more well-known GHG.
  • Points of concern: India’s peers on most environmental compacts i.e. China, Brazil and South Africa opted for the middle-level phase-out schedule while India negotiated for a lenient schedule.
  • Even, many of the hottest and poorest countries, including the entire African bloc, did not opt for the most lenient timetable.
  • India’s refrigeration and air conditioning industry has been oblivious to the steps taken by its international counterparts e.g. EU banned the use of HFCs in cars in 2011 and is phasing out the chemical in other industries.
  • Also, industries in the US have started replacing CFCs with climate-friendly refrigerants.


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