India will seek an "equitable" agreement that is in the best interest of the nation at the forthcoming negotiations on phasing down of harmful greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) scheduled to take place in Rwanda later this year.
India will seek an “equitable” agreement that is in the best interest of the nation at the forthcoming negotiations on phasing down of harmful greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) scheduled to take place in Rwanda later this year.
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave stressed the need for focussing on issues like energy efficiency through research and development and changing architecture and consumption patterns to reduce cooling needs.
“India remains committed to address the issue of climate change. India would seek an equitable agreement in Kigali that is in the best interests of the nation, its people, as well as the larger global community,” Dave said.
He was speaking at the roundtable where stakeholders across industry groups and international experts discussed the challenges faced by India in phasing down high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs.
The 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 28) to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer is scheduled to consider, among other things, negotiations on a HFC amendment.
“The need is to focus on issues like energy efficiency, using CSR for research and development, and on demand-side management –- changing architecture and consumption patterns to reduce cooling needs,” Dave said.
The minister said India leads by example through its sustainable lifestyle habits which are key to mitigating climate change issues.
A key concern that came up during the discussions was the additional cost involved in migrating to greener technologies, an official statement said.
According to a recent research, the economy wide cost for transition for India between 2015 and 2050 would be 12 billion Euros for the Indian proposal and 34 billion Euros for the North American proposal.
“There are different estimates as to what it will cost to make the switch. But we must emphasise in Kigali that the commitment of donor countries has to be absolute and this assurance is necessary to fulfil any commitment India makes.
“One thing is clear. The debate is not on what needs to be done, but on how to do it. We have to make sure all parties are comfortable. A fine balance has to be achieved between national interests and environmental concerns,” said R R Rashmi, additional secretary, Environment Ministry.
During the roundtable, the Environment Ministry reaffirmed the need to develop indigenous research and development capabilities for India-specific HFC alternatives.
The recent collaborative R&D programme initiated by the ministry to develop low GWP HFC alternatives within the country was also highlighted.
During the earlier rounds of negotiations held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015, India had taken a leadership role by proposing an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, recognising the need to phase out HFCs while also rationalising the costs associated with such a transition.
Some of the key issues discussed at the roundtable included opportunities and challenges in the residential and commercial air conditioning sector, cost and benefits of various transition imperatives and issues that are likely to come up during negotiations, specifically related to patents and finance.
Experts also suggested that India should assert that funding (from the Multilateral Fund) for research and development of low GWP alternatives, while capacity building of the servicing sector should be disbursed to developing countries as soon as possible.
International experts highlighted that early funding is available for countries to choose energy-efficient alternatives and move for an earlier phase-down.