Breaking its silence, India today took a positive stand at a multilateral forum on the issue of phasing down of climate damaging hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) but asked the UN to produce reports of country-wise production and consumption of the greenhouse gas over last decade.
“My suggestion and proposal is that the UNEP Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) should produce reports indicating county-wise production and consumption of HFCs over last 10 years,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a high-level ministerial segment at the UN conference on Montreal Protocol here.
“India doesn’t want estimates. We need actual figures. That’s what we did in case of CFCs (ozone depleting chloroflurocarbons) decades back,” the minister said making clear the stand of the country, which was accused by the developed world of blocking their move to discuss the issue of HFCs under Montreal Protocol.
Placing the country’s view on the issue in an affirmative manner, Javadekar said India was ready to cooperate in solving the issue provided its demands are met.
He said India needs in its every 29 states “immediate demonstration of projects for alternatives to HFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners to tell the viability, affordability and energy efficiency” and asked the developed countries, and research institutes to initiate “immediate collaborations” to develop and improve the affordability of HFC alternatives.
India demanded that the negotiation of HFCs should “proceed on the principle of grace period—that is differentiated responsibility, financial assistance, including that for research and development, technology transfer without the clause of confidentiality”.
Javadekar noted that India introduced the HFCs as substitutes of CFCs and now hydrochloroflurocarbons are also being substituted by the greenhouse gas in many places.
“HFCs are greenhouse gases and its global warming potential is 1000s times higher than co2. That is why the bilateral joint statement of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Barack Obama has emphasised to study the issue with clarity and take appropriate actions,” he said.
India made its position clear as the nations started informally debating the issue of management of HFCs- the climate-damaging refrigerant gas—at the week-long conference began at UNESCO headquarters here on Monday.
India, till last year, had been opposing the discussion of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, arguing that it does not have the mandate to deal with the greenhouse gas.