New Delhi: India on Monday launched the second stage of its plan to phase out Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), greenhouse gases that damage the earth’s ozone layer.
It is estimated that with this plan, there would be a net direct CO2-equivalent emission reductions of about 8.5 million metric tonnes annually from 2023.
Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave released stage-II of the HCFC phase-out management plan (HPMP). India has already successfully implemented HPMP stage-I.
At present, HCFCs are used in various sectors like refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) and foam manufacturing. These sectors are directly related to urban development, agriculture through cold chain, and industrial development.
Under HPMP-II, India has secured $44.1 million for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol for phasing out 8,190 metric tonnes or 769.49 ODP (Ozone Depleting Potential) tonne of HCFC consumption between 2017 to 2023, in order to meet the compliance targets under Montreal Protocol for 2020, the ministry said.
The Montreal Protocol seeks to cut the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer. It also aims at phase out HCFCs by 2030.
“The phase out of HCFCs in the HPMP stage-II will be addressed through several technology conversions at a number of large, medium, small and micro enterprises in the polyurethane foam sector, a few large enterprises in the air conditioning manufacturing sector and activities in the refrigeration and air conditioning servicing sector. India is committed to ensuring the smooth transition of these enterprises to new technologies and values the interest of SMEs most," said Dave in foreword of the plan.
“In the process, targeted technical assistance and awareness programmes will be implemented focused on SMEs during the HPMP stage-II to ensure timely and sustainable phase out of HCFCs," Dave added.
Speaking at the launch of the plan, Dave said that the government will never compromise the environmental interests of India at international negotiations and at the same time, also keep in mind the welfare of the world.
Environment ministry’s special secretary R.R. Rashmi stressed that this is a critical stage of the HCFC phase out and that much larger involvement of the industry is needed. Rashmi hoped that the industry will help in making the transition efficiently.
Under HPMP-II, more than 400 enterprises, including over 300 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the foam manufacturing sector and six large air-conditioning manufacturing enterprises will be supported for conversion from HCFCs to non-HCFC technologies.
The plan also provides for promotion of energy efficiency, development building codes integrating HCFC phase out issues, cold chain development with non-HCFC alternatives and development of standards for new non-ODS.
“It also specifically focuses on the MSME sector in foam manufacturing. Adequate attention has also been given to synergize the refrigeration and servicing (RAC) sector trainings under HPMP II, with the Skill India Mission, in order to multiply the impact of skilling and training. According to estimates, nearly, 16,000 service technicians will be trained under HPMP-II," the official statement added.