If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

World celebrates Ozone Day while the planet waits for action on HFCs

As the world celebrates International Ozone Day to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has highlighted the urgent need to phase-down a class of greenhouse gases known as HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) under the Montreal Protocol. CSE, an Indian public interest research and advocacy organization, called for global action on HFCs in its latest issue of Down to Earth.

HFCs are chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning that have been commercialized as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODS). While they do not deplete the ozone layer, HFCs are hundreds and thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide in affecting the global climate. More than 115 countries support phasing-down these harmful chemicals under the Montreal Protocol, which has effectively rid the world of 97 percent of ODS and also prevented massive carbon emissions.

Despite strong support for this action, India has been one of the few countries opposing a phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. We urge the Indian government to support an HFC phase-down in the long-term interests of the country and the climate.

Montreal Protocol is the Mechanism of Choice

Using the Montreal Protocol to phase-down the consumption and production of HFCs is becoming a reality. In fact, earlier this month, the G20 committed to using Montreal Protocol to phase-down HFCs while keeping the accounting of their emissions under the climate treaty known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

While a few countries including India have argued that the Montreal Protocol is not the right place to discuss HFCs, CSE asserts that the “Montreal Protocol is… clearly the mechanism of choice.”

The New Delhi organization goes a step further by calling on countries to be even more ambitious, arguing that both developed and developing countries have a duty to protect the global climate and immediately start phasing down HFCs. “If developing countries are to leapfrog HFCs and transition to environmentally-friendly alternatives, then the rich world, already emitting HFCs, cannot keep using it for the next 20-25 years. Clearly, a much more strict phase-out schedule for the industrialized countries will have to be agreed to,” states CSE.

The Montreal Protocol has its annual Meeting of the Parties in Bangkok this Ooctober when the issue of an HFC phase-down will be negotiated. Such action would give the broader climate negotiation a much needed boost and model for moving forward.

Single Leapfrog

CSE raises the legitimate question of what alternatives can developing countries use as they transition from HFCs. We believe moving to natural refrigerants will put India’s alternatives industry at the forefront of the next generation of refrigerants and on a par with China. This could allow India to control its own refrigeration and air conditioning market thereby reducing India’s reliance on imported patent-protected refrigerants. Which is why CSE asks how the world can “incentivize a single leapfrog this time” in order to prevent converting into HFCs, which are a dead-end technology that will eventually have to be phased-out again.

HFC-23 is still an Open Question

The CSE analysis also highlights the obscene profits made by India’s refrigerant industry, which was funded to phase out ODS under the Montreal Protocol and then funded to burn HFC-23 under UNFCCC. HFC-23, a potent greenhouse gas part of the HFC family, has a global warming potential 14,800 times that of CO2. Our recent report exposed that certain Chinese and Indian plants, are holding the world hostage by threatening to release this climate damaging gas if they don't receive millions of dollars for its destruction.

CSE reiterates our concerns that companies do not have incentives to destroy HFC-23. Down to Earth quotes Sukumar Devotta, former director of the Indian National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, saying that without any “legal rule” to do otherwise, “companies would choose to release [HFC-23] as storage costs money and they are no longer paid for incineration.”

On International Ozone Day, countries of the world need to agree that it would be foolish to switch to climate damaging chemicals like HFCs in order to save the ozone. As CSE says “much is at stake for the world’s 'most successful' environmental treaty.”

For more information, contact EIA:

Avipsa Mahapatra
amahapatra@eia-global.org
+1 (202) 483-6621

Mark Roberts
markroberts@eia-global.org
+1 (978) 298-5705

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

Finding the Promise in Compromise: EIA Proposal to Jumpstart California HFC Reclaim
07/27/2020
Last week EIA participated in California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) 6th workshop on proposed regulations to reduce emissions of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling. The state’s rigorous process for proposing new regulations on HFC refrigerants has been ongoing for several years now and is in the final stretch. Opportunities for stakeholder engagement have been abundant and ARB has invited input from industry along the way. They even aligned with an industry proposed 2023 deadline for transitioning new air conditioning equipment to refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) less than 750.
Unchartered Territory: Funding Climate Action During a Pandemic
07/16/2020
This week, Parties to the Montreal Protocol, renowned as the world’s most successful environmental treaty came together remotely for their annual intersessional meeting, known as the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). The Montreal Protocol has a vital role to play in addressing climate change, as it becomes increasingly clear that we are currently not on the pathway to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 °C.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments to OEWG-42
07/02/2020
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
03/25/2020
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.

Recent Press Releases

Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard
06/25/2020
Today, EIA launched the Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard assessing the largest U.S. supermarkets on actions and commitments to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - potent greenhouse gases used in cooling.
EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks
03/17/2020
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge