India agrees to address HFCs under Montreal Protocol, submits amendment proposal


BANGKOK: India has submitted an advance copy of an amendment proposal to the Montreal Protocol proposing a phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) ahead of next week’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) special meeting in Bangkok.


“India’s proposal comes as countries are about to participate in a special meeting of the Montreal Protocol to address HFCs,” said Clare Perry, Head of Climate at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). “It is a major opportunity to begin negotiations on the most immediate, cost-effective and tangible global measure to address climate change.”


Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA International Climate Policy Analyst, added: “It is refreshing to see India come to the negotiating table for these potent greenhouse gases as India has historically been opposed to such an amendment.


“With the European Union also expected to submit a proposal, it is a clear signal that there has been significant political progress on the issue of HFCs and instead of questioningwhetherHFCs should be addressed under the Protocol, countries are now trying to answerhowto address them.”


This meeting marks the first Open-Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol’s 30-year history dedicated to discussing HFCs. At last year’s Meeting of the Parties in Paris, countries agreed on the need to host a supplemental OEWG, in addition to its annual meeting in July, to discuss HFCs.


1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK- and Washington DC-based Non-Governmental Organisation that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.


2. THE 35thmeeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol will convene from April 22-24, 2015 to discuss issues related to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and the beginning of negotiations toward an HFC phase-down amendment under the Protocol.


3. HFCs are a family of chemicals used in refrigeration and air-conditioning with global warming potentials hundreds or thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. A range of alternative technologies are increasingly available, many with greater energy efficiency than HFCs.