INDIA’S PERSPECTIVE ON PHASE DOWN OF HYDROFLUOROCARBONS (HFCs) UNDER THE AMBIT OF VIENNA CONVENTIO...
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INDIA’S PERSPECTIVE ON PHASE DOWN OF HYDROFLUOROCARBONS (HFCs) UNDER THE AMBIT OF VIENNA CONVENTION AND ITS MONREAL PROTOCOL February 18, 2011. OZONE CELL GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS. THE VIENNA CONVENTION.

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OZONE CELL GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

INDIA’S PERSPECTIVE ON PHASE DOWN OF HYDROFLUOROCARBONS (HFCs) UNDER THE AMBIT OF VIENNA CONVENTION AND ITS MONREAL PROTOCOLFebruary 18, 2011

OZONE CELL

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS


Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

THE VIENNA CONVENTION

  • The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was signed in March 1985.

  • Through the Vienna Convention, the signatory states agreed to take appropriate measures to protect the human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which are likely to modify the ozone layer.

  • The Vienna Convention is a specific convention for the protection of the ozone layer.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL

  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the only Protocol under the Vienna Convention so far and that was signed on 16th September, 1987 .

  • The Montreal Protocol basically came in force to protect the ozone layer by phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs).

  • Amendments and adjustments to the Montreal Protocol so far aimed either to include some more ODSs to be phased out or accelerate the phase-out of ODSs.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL

  • Since last two years, some Parties to the Montreal Protocol including United States of America have proposed amendments to the Montreal Protocol to bring non-ODS gases first time under the control of the Montreal Protocol.

  • The amendments proposed the phase-down of production and consumption of HFCs under the ambit of the Montreal Protocol.

  • The proposed amendments have a number of legal, policy and technical aspects which needs to be looked into carefully.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

LEGAL ASPECTS

  • The Parties to this Convention, determined to protect the human health against adverse effects resulting from modification of the ozone layer.

  • According to Article 2 of the Vienna Convention, “The Parties shall take appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and of those protocols in force to which they are party to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the ozone layer.”

  • From the preamble to the Vienna Convention and its other provisions it is clear that the objective of the Vienna Convention is to protect human health against adverse effects resulting from modification of the ozone layer.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

LEGAL ASPECTS (contd.)

  • In short, the Vienna Conventions revolves around the ozone layer.

  • Therefore, it may not be appropriate for the Montreal Protocol formed under the Vienna Convention to deal with GHGs which are specifically covered under the Kyoto Protocol formed under the UNFCCC unless it can also be demonstrated that the GHGs listed under Kyoto Protocol can modify the ozone layer so as to cause adverse effect on environment.

  • Article 9 of the Vienna Convention which deals with the amendments to the Convention also supports this view. The proposed amendments does not provide any scientific basis/data to support that HFCs are likely to deplete the ozone layer.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

POLICY ASPECTS

  • The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on the Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are very specific Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) addressing the protection of the ozone layer.

    • The Convention as well as the Protocol had no intention and provision to modify and accommodate non-ODSs.

    • The amendment of the preamble of the Montreal Protocol proposed in the amendments is an attempt to deviate from the basic objectives of the Protocol as well as the Vienna Convention.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

POLICY ASPECTS (contd.)

  • The proposed amendments are the attempts to amalgamate the two Conventions, the Vienna Convention and the UNFCCC which can only be done, if at all at the joint meeting of the two conventions.

  • HFCs are not ODSs and, therefore, these are outside the ambit of the Montreal Protocol which aims to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to phase-out the production and consumption of ODSs.

  • The Montreal Protocol has already phased out high-ODP ODSs which were also having high GWP. The Phase-out of ODSs has reduced the GHG emissions substantially which amounts to 5 to 6 times of the first commitment of Kyoto Protocol

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

POLICY ASPECTS (contd.)

  • HFCs, being the high-GWP gases, are already part of the Kyoto basket of gases

  • The emissions of HFCs are already controlled by the Kyoto Protocol to address the adverse effect on climate, if any

  • The MOP while adjusting the Protocol in September 2007 to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs decided to encourage the use of lower GWP substitutes

  • The Protocol is having appropriate mechanism to reduce the penetration and consumption of HFCs as substitutes to HCFCs

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

TECHNICAL ASPECTS

  • Currently more than 90 percent cooling requirements are met with HFC and HCFC refrigerants.

  • The non-HFC alternatives like hydrocarbons, ammonia, carbon dioxide (CO2) etc. are limited and as per the industry experts, these would not be able to cater the needs of various applications of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC), foam blowing etc..

  • The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s (TEAP) reports in pursuant to the various decisions of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) including XXI/9 of the 21st MOP, have clearly brought out that HFCs are the main alternative technologies to replace HCFCs especially the HCFC-22 in RAC sector.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

TECHNICAL ASPECTS (contd.)

  • As per the industry experts, the non-Article 5 Parties including USA have mainly used HFCs as alternatives to HCFCs to meet the 75% reduction targets of HCFCs as of 1st January 2010.

  • Other low GWP refrigerants like HFC-1234yf are still under investigation only and it is yet to be established that HFC-1234yf is environmentally, technically and economically viable alternatives.

  • Moreover, the HFC-1234yf is a replacement for HFC-134a and not for HCFC-22.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

TECHNICAL ASPECTS (contd.)

  • How the low-GWP alternatives such as HFC-1234yf which is still under investigation will be made more affordable to the developing countries.

  • The incremental operating costs are paid to the industries of Article 5 Parties for a very short period through the MLF

  • The industries and the countries to bear the costs for future years to come. Most of the countries become importers from self reliance

  • This clearly indicates that there are no technically proven, economically viable and environmentally benign alternatives

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

CONCLUDING REMARKS

  • The proposed amendments to bring phase-down of HFCs under the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol has a number of legal, policy and technical implications.

  • India, on behalf of the Indian industry, has tried to seek clarifications to the various issues by raising queries at the various meetings like Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) and MOP in last two years.

  • None of those queries have been answered or addressed in the proposed amendments.

  • There are no technically proven, economically viable and environmentally-benign alternatives to HFCs.

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

WAY FORWARD !

  • The industry representatives from US and India should have a detailed dialogue on issues related to various aspects including availability of technically proven, economically viable and environmentally benign technologies.

  • The Parties to the Montreal Protocol may request the TEAP to carry out Life-Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) analysis of Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of HFCs vs. other low-GWP fluids .

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Ozone cell government of india ministry of environment forests

THANK YOU


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