In a positive move towards fighting climate change, 197 countries have agreed upon an amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing down the planet warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases. While HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer, their global warming potential is thousand times more than carbon dioxide.
Under the agreement, developed countries will reduce HFC emissions use first, followed by a group of Article 5 countries including China. India and nine other countries in South and West Asia will follow suit. Overall, the agreement is expected to reduce HFC use by 85 per cent by 2045.
Countries are divided in three groups, as per their phase down schedules to freeze and reduce production of HFCs. The developed countries, led by the US and Europe, will reduce HFC use by 85 per cent by 2036 over a 2011-13 baseline. China, which is the largest producer of HFCs in the world, will reduce HFC use by 80 per cent by 2045 over the 2020-22 baseline. India will reduce the use of HFCs by 85 per cent over the 2024-26 baseline. The amendment also increases funding support to developing countries.
In addition to their phase down deadlines, developed nations have agreed to cut 70 per cent of their HFC use by 2029. This means India will start reducing its HFC consumption when the developed countries would have reduced their consumption by 70 per cent.