After taking a lead role in amending the Montreal Protocol, India today said it will start on time phasing down the harmful hydrofluorocarbons that have global warming potential thousand times more than carbon dioxide. The amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), one of the fastest growing and most potent greenhouse gases used primarily in cooling and refrigeration, was done after taking care of the concerns of all the nations, India's lead negotiator Manoj Kumar Singh said after 197 parties amended the Protocol. The new amendment will reduce global levels of HFCs between 80 and 85 per cent by 2047. "It was very good negotiation and hope all the Parties, they are happy with it because major concern of major countries all the economies... It has been taken care of and it is a good balance between environment and economy," Kumar said. Noting that India has taken a position to have baseline of 2024-26, then freeze year in 2028 and start work thereafter, he said, "we will be having a very good ambition and doing the phase down in time". The baseline is the year against which each country's consumption of HFCs is capped. Countries will have to reduce HFCs from that capped amount. After holding bilateral talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Conference here yesterday, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said India has agreed to move its freeze year from 2030 to 2028.
Freeze year is the year in which phasing down of Hydrofluorocarbons starts. India played a key role in pushing various parties to agree for a "very good phase-down" schedule, Singh claimed. "It will be ambitious for them and I think developed and developing world work to address climate change and economy also," Singh said. The Kigali Amendment to the Protocol has created three categories of countries, with different schedules and timetables for reductions, and with the vast majority of countries freezing production and consumption by 2024. Developed countries agreed to make their first HFC cuts by 2019. China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and more than 100 other developing countries have committed to freeze their HFC production and use by 2024, and make further reductions thereafter. India, Gulf States, and Pakistan have agreed to make HFC reductions on a slower track. Singh said the developing nations' decision to adopt dual "has really shown the Common But Differentiated Rin true spirit". The US was forced to withdraw a proposal brought during the fag end of the conference today after Singh pointed out that it was not discussed in the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) held here last week. The US wanted to include the proposal as part of the Amendment.
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