Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Montreal Protocol, Kigali Agreement
Mains level: Prevention of use of Ozone Depleting Substances
- By 2022, India is expected to have one-fourth of the world’s air conditioning units, and the risks to climate from this could be immense, according to a report.
Refrigerants are the most harmful
- The refrigerants (coolants) used for cooling are the major contributors to global warming.
- If left unchecked, they could cause global temperatures to rise by 0.5 degrees Celsius.
- A technology solution that could help to reduce the impact by one-fifth and ensure that air conditioning units use 75% less electricity is the need of hour.
- A technology solution would significantly reduce the burden on electricity grids and also save ₹109 trillion ($ 1.5 trillion).
- Hydrofluorocarbons are organic compounds containing hydrogen, Carbon, and fluorine.
- They are commonly used as substitutes for Ozone depleting substances like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and are used in refrigerators and air-conditioners.
Phasing out HFCs
- In 2016, India was a signatory to Kigali Agreement with 107 countries to “substantially phase” out hydro fluorocarbons (HFC), by 2045.
- This move was aimed to prevent a potential 0.5 C rise in global temperature by 2050.
- HFCs are a family of gases that are largely used in refrigerants at home and in car air-conditioners.
- India, China, the United States and Europe have committed themselves to reducing the use of HFC by 85% by 2045.
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