Environment NGOs from both India and abroad today welcomed the historic Kigali Agreement to phase down “super greenhouse gases” known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), saying it reflects the emerging reality of the world.
Hailing the agreement reached here to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by amending the Montreal Protocol, Director General of New Delhi-based Advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Sunita Narain said the Kigali Amendment reflected the principal of common but differentiated responsibility.
“It also reflects the emerging reality of a world in which China will have to take more and more responsibility to solve global environmental issues,” she said in a statement.
Climate expert and CSE Deputy Director General, Chandra Bhushan, said India went with a clear strategy and a proactive agenda to enhance the overall environmental ambition of the deal and to protect the nation’s economic interests.
Praising the Indian negotiation team, he said, the amendment finally agreed to not only protects India’s economic interests, but also doubles the climate benefit compared to the previous Indian proposal.
“It will avoid HFC emissions equivalent to 70 billion tonne of CO2,” he said.
The amendment is a critical step towards limiting warming and the single biggest climate action of the year, just weeks before leaders meet in Morocco for international climate talks.
The amendment establishes three different timetables for all developed and developing countries to freeze and then reduce their production and use of HFCs.
Developed countries agreed to make their first HFC cuts by 2019. Developed nations have committed to provide additional funds through the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund.
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.
Climate Action Network (CAN) said the results from Kigali on HFCs as well as the recent outcome on aviation emissions shows that governments are taking the objective of the Paris Agreement seriously.
“CAN hopes that countries will accelerate national ambition over time but soon enough to give a fighting chance for the world to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C,” it said in a statement.
“To aid the switch to newer and safer natural refrigerants, sufficient funding will be required through the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to enable poorer countries to invest in the new technology. It is vital that developed countries also share their progress on technological breakthroughs,” said Benson Ireri, Senior Policy Advisor, Christian Aid.