HCFCs Current Affairs - 2020

India Cooling Action Plan

India Cooling Action Plan was released by the Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The plan is aimed at reducing emissions and providing thermal comfort to citizens.

India Cooling Action Plan

  • India Cooling Action Plan provides a 20-year perspective to address the cooling requirements across various sectors and recommends ways to provide access to sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for people.
  • Under the action plan, the government has planned to achieve at least 30% reductions in cooling energy requirement by improving the energy efficiency of room ACs and fans, better servicing and optimized operations in cold chains.
  • The government also plans to provide training to 1 lakh service technicians to ensure optimum usage of currently installed air conditions.
  • The plan also proposes Reduction of the cooling load of building sector through the fast-tracked implementation of building energy codes, adoption of thermal comfort standards, enhancing consumer awareness through eco-labelling of cooling products, push towards public transport and faster adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • The plan recommends the use of climate-appropriate and energy efficient building design for construction of houses for economically weaker sections (EWS) under government affordable housing schemes.
  • The plan states that plan to phase out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) is already underway, and under the second phase, the most common refrigerant – HCFC-22 would be phased out from six major room AC brands by 2022.
  • Recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under the national S&T Programme

Targets under India Cooling Action Plan

  • Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38.
  • Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38.
  • Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.

The implementation of the India Cooling Action Plan would be overseen by an inter-ministerial Empowered Steering Committee approved by the Cabinet and Ozone Cell of the Environment Ministry act as a Cooling Secretariat to coordinate actions with other ministries.

India launches Stage II of HCFC Phase Out Management Plan

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Stage II of HCFCs Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) for the 2017-23 period.

It aims to phase out use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), harmful ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by switching over to non-ozone depleting and low global warming potential technologies.

Under HPMP-II
  • India has secured $44.1 million from Multilateral Fund for implementation of Montreal Protocol for phasing out 8,190 MT of HCFC consumption between 2017 to 2023 to meet targets under the protocol for 2020.
  • More than 400 enterprises, including MSMEs in foam manufacturing sector and 6 large air-conditioning manufacturing enterprises will be supported for conversion to non-HCFC technologies from HCFCs.
  • Energy efficiency, development building codes, cold chain development with non-HCFC alternatives and development of standards for new non-ODS and low GWP alternatives will be promoted.
  • Adequate attention to synergize the Refrigeration and Servicing (RAC) servicing sector trainings will be given with the Skill India Mission, in order to multiply the impact of skilling and training.
  • Nearly, 16, 000 service technicians will be trained under HPMP-II. It will result in net direct CO2-equivalent emission reductions of about 8.5 million metric tonne annually from 2023.
Background

Under the Montreal Protocol, the accelerated phase out of Hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs) is underway with a aim to complete phase out by 2030 of these chemicals that result in ozone depletion and aid global warming.  At present, HCFCs are used in various sectors like refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC), polyurethane foam manufacturing and cold chains sectors etc. These sectors are directly related to urban development, agriculture through cold chain, and industrial development. India is undertaking phase-out of HCFCs through the implementation of HPMP. The Stage-I of HPMP has been already implemented in the country and has successfully met all the ODS phase-out targets, including those of HPMP Stage-I.

Montreal Protocol: It seeks to cut the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer. It also aims at phase out HCFCs by 2030. It came into force in 1989 and has been ratified by 197 parties making it universally ratified protocol in UN history. It is also highly successful international arrangement, as it has phased-out more than 95% of the ODS so far as per its main mandate in less than 30 years of its existence.