Action plan to phase out consumption of HCFC is on track: Ramesh

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (ANI): Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday that India has developed a comprehensive Road Map and Action Plan to phase-out of production and consumption of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in various sectors.

Addressing the gathering during the 15th International Ozone Day here Ramesh said: "The Government of India has taken a number of policy measures, fiscal and regulatory, to encourage the early adoption of alternative technologies in this area by existing and new enterprises."

Ramesh hailed the Montreal Protocol as the most successful international treaty to ever achieve universal participation.

"At a time when the world is trying to solve the problem of climate change, the International Ozone Day provided a timely reminder of how international cooperation can help to solve major global environmental problems," Ramesh added.

India is one of the first developing countries to join the Montreal Protocol and pledge its commitment to protect the Ozone Layer.

As a part of the accelerated phase-out of CFCs, India has completely phased out the production and consumption of CFCs as on 1 August 2008, 17 months prior to the agreed schedule.

Ramesh informed that over 97percent of controlled Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) have been phased out by the Montreal Protocol.

"The end of 2009 will mark another significant milestone in the history of its implementation, with the use of potent ODSs -CFCs, Carbon Tetra Chloride (CTC) and Halons, except pharmaceutical-grade CFCs used in the manufacture of Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) - being ceased completely," he said

The CFCs required for manufacturing for MDIs used by Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients are still available in India, a national transition strategy to phase them out by 2013 is currently under implementation.

"The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank recently also launched the India: Chiller Energy Efficiency Project to accelerate the conversion of CFC-based chillers using new, more energy efficient technologies," Ramesh said.

This year's theme for the ozone day was 'Universal participation - Ozone protection unifies the World.' (ANI)

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