India resists changing their stance on HFCs despite building pressure

By Klara Skačanová, Sep 25, 2013, 13:54 2 minute reading

Against the demands of the US and other developed nations to take international action on HFCs, India is standing firm, refusing to change its position not to address HFCs within the Montreal Protocol. India has the support of Brazil, South Africa and China. However, to ease the increasing pressure, India has agreed to discuss the HFC issue in a bilateral Indo-US working group.

While developing countries were deemed to have moderated their position on curbing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol after the September G20 Summit, two weeks later they endorsed a position underlining their demand for alternatives. In a recent meeting of the BASIC group of nations – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – held in the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguacu, countries agreed with India’s position that including HFCs under the Montreal Protocol could not be accepted unless environmentally sound and cost effective alternatives are available in their markets. They also reaffirmed their stance that HFCs should continue to be dealt with under the Kyoto Protocol.

These countries also sought adequate financial support from developed countries for switching over to environment friendly technology.

India agrees to discuss HFCs bilaterally with the US, not in multilateral fora

A joint statement signed by representatives of the BASIC countries states: "Ministers agreed that hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) should be dealt with through relevant multilateral fora, guided by the principles and provisions of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol".

While India rejects the idea of discussing HFCs at multilateral fora such as the Montreal Protocol, it agreed to discuss the issue bilaterally with the US. To this end, the Indian government has agreed to set up an Indo-US working group on climate change, which will among other issues discuss HFCs. The joint working group will be headed by Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan on the Indian side, while Todd Stern, Special Envoy on Climate Change, will lead the U.S. team.

HFC issues to be discussed in October and November

Nations are expected to discuss the curbing of HFCs in multilateral meetings slated for October and November. At the end of October, the 25th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 25) will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. Proposals to amend the Montreal Protocol in respect of HFC phase-down have been submitted for five consecutive years and during the July 2013 meeting Parties created a formal group to consider technical, financial and legal aspects of addressing high-GWP HFCs by using the mechanisms of the Montreal Protocol. Discussions in this respect are expected to continue in the October meeting especially in view of the UN climate negotiations (COP 19) to be held in Warsaw in November, in which the issues related to HFCs are to be taken up by a number of countries as well as the EU.


By Klara Skačanová

Sep 25, 2013, 13:54

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below