India pitches for transparency at Montreal protocol conference

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Vienna, July 21: India on Thursday (July 21) pitched for the formation of guidelines for enhancing flexibility, developing methodologies and ensuring transparency in phasing out of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas, to limit global warming. Speaking on behalf of all developing countries, India made the proposal at the 38th meeting of the Open Ended Working Group of Parties to the Montreal Protocol here.

"Parties across the developing and developed world have reiterated their commitment to moving away from high Global Warming Potential (GWP) HFCs for limiting increase in global warming. The key issue that the parties have started discussing is baseline for developing and developed countries," M K Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests said.

Officials from nearly 200 countries are gathered here to chalk out details of an agreement to cut the use of HFCs, used in heating and air conditioning, by amending the 1989 ozone-protection treaty.

The meeting aims to draw schedules for countries to reduce HFC use and agree on financial support for developing nations to limit their use before a final summit in Kigali, Rwanda in October. Besides highlighting absence of verifiable historical data is a challenge in establishing a baseline for both developed and developing countries, India also submitted a Conference Room Paper (CRP) aimed at improving the transparency and flexibility of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol (MLF).

"MLF has been key in supporting the earlier transition away from ozone depleting substances, and is widely recognised for its success as the only global scale financial transfer mechanism for mitigating environmental impacts. "However, based on earlier experience of developing countries, there have been concerns around the flexibility and transparency of this extremely important mechanism," Singh added.

The Indian submission emphasised on five key issues including developing guidelines for incorporating the principle of flexibility, improving understanding of methodologies for calculating incremental cost, developing cost guidance for enhancing energy efficiency, increasing institutional strengthening for supporting any new commitments and prioritising technical assistance for building capacity to address safety issues.

"Based on the interventions, it is expected that parties will move forward to an acceptable baseline keeping the data related issues and constraints in context. Highlighting such challenges is critical for addressing the ground realities and challenges for moving towards an amendment for phasing down high GWP HFCs," he said.

PTI

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