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US wants India to advance phasing out of HFCs


NEW DELHI: While India stayed strictly non-committal at the G-20 meet on ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change despite considerable pressure from the Obama administration, hectic negotiations are on to get India to relax its position on the Montreal Protocol ahead of the global meet in October.

India’s environment ministry, backed fully by the Prime Minister’s Office, is proving a tough negotiator ahead of the global meet on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer next month, while keeping a small window open. Last-minute talks are on with India to push for earlier phasing out of HFCs.

India is so far insistent that its baseline year for phasing down HFCs will be no earlier than 2028 with a complete freeze on HFC use by 2030-31, while the US wants the country to agree to the 2018-20 cycle.

Sources said India is unlikely to agree to any baseline earlier than 2025-26 as HFC phase down before that will have huge financial implications for the industry and consumers.

The US team, which has been coordinating this effort for nearly seven years now, has sought a special meeting via video conference with the Indian side ahead of the crucial annual Montreal Protocol meeting scheduled for October in Rwanda.

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