India has decided to ratify Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which is a key step in fight against climate change.
India has fought hard to get a favourable deal under the Kigali amendment. It will enable India to achieve its commitments.
The Kigali amendment was negotiated in the Capital of Rwanda in 2016. It will aim at gradual phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
HFCs are type of chemicals that are used in refrigeration, air conditioning and furnishing foam industry. They are known to have higher global warming potential than Carbon Dioxide.
The average global warming potential of most commonly used HFC is 22. This number is more than 2,500 times that of Carbon Dioxide.
The decision of India to ratify the amendment was expected after China and US had recently decided to phase out HFCs.
The Montreal protocol aims at protecting ozone layer present in upper atmosphere. Chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were behind depletion of ozone.
The CFC is also a cooling agent and used in refrigeration and air conditioning. It was singularly playing a major role in destruction of ozone layer. An ozone hole was formed in the Antarctic region due to depletion.
CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS) had to be completely phased out under the Montreal protocol.
The CFC was replaced by HFC and later by HCFC. This process is still taking place, especially in developing countries.
Significance of amendment
Use of HFC is increasing in countries especially in India due to excessive use of air conditioning. If this is not controlled, their contribution to annual greenhouse gas emissions will reach up to 19% by 2050.
HFCs were not considered Ozone depleting substances and thus were not controlled under Montreal protocol. Thus, an amendment was needed to phase out remaining HFCs as well.
HFC was included in list of substances that were to be considered as ozone depleting and phased out.
Different countries have different timelines for implementing. Developed countries have to do it by 2036, India by 2047 and China by 2045.
Kigali Amendment can prevent about 0.5°C rise in global warming by the end of this century if successfully implemented.
If implemented successfully, the amendment will be able to restrict temperature rise to within 2°C from pre-industrial times.