From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kigali Agreement
Mains level : Ozone depletion and its threat
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India.
What is Montreal Protocol?
- The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international agreement made in 1987.
- It was designed to stop the production and import of ozone-depleting substances and reduce their concentration in the atmosphere to help protect the earth’s ozone layer.
- It sits under the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
- The convention was adopted in 1985 and has highlighted the adverse effect of human activity on ozone levels in the stratosphere and the discovery of the ‘ozone hole’.
- Its objectives are to promote cooperation on the adverse effects of human activities on the ozone layer.
- It has since undergone nine revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), 1998 (Australia), 1999 (Beijing) and 2016 (Kigali).
India and the Protocol
- India became a Party to the Protocol on 19 June 1992 and since then has ratified the amendments.
What is the Kigali Amendment?
- It is an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
- It is a legally binding agreement designed to create rights and obligations in international law.
- While HFCs do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, they have high global warming potential ranging from 12 to 14,000, which has an adverse impact on climate.
What are the Ozone Depleting Substances?
Ozone-depleting substances are chemicals that destroy the earth’s protective ozone layer. They include:
- chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)
- methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3)
- hydro Bromo fluorocarbons (HBFCs)
- hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- methyl bromide (CH3Br)
- bromochloromethane (CH2BrCl)
Where are they used?
The main uses of ozone-depleting substances include:
- CFCs and HCFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners,
- HCFCs and halons in fire extinguishers,
- CFCs and HCFCs in foam,
- CFCs and HCFCs as aerosol propellants, and
- Methyl bromide for fumigation of soil, structures and goods to be imported or exported.
Now answer this PYQ:
Q.Consider the following statements:
Chlorofluorocarbons, known as ozone-depleting substances are used:
- In the production of plastic foams
- In the production of tubeless tyres
- In cleaning certain electronic components
- As pressurizing agents in aerosol cans
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2012)
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Why phase them out?
Implementation strategy and targets:
- India will complete its phase-down of HFCs in 4 steps from 2032 onwards with a cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042, and 80% in 2047.
- HFCs phasedown is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHGs, helping to avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
- It will achieve energy efficiency gains^ and carbon dioxide emissions reduction – a “climate co-benefit,”
- HFCs phrase-down implementation will involve synergies to maximize the economic arid social co-benefits, besides environmental gains.
- There would be scope for domestic manufacturing of equipment as well as alternative non-HFC and low-global warming potential chemicals to enable the industry to transition to the low global warming potential alternatives as per the agreed HFC phase-down schedule.
- In addition, there would be opportunities to promote domestic innovation for new generation alternative refrigerants and related technologies.
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