The Montreal Protocol has been successful in eliminating 98 percent of the planet’s ozone depleting substances. India, a signatory to the Protocol since 1992, has been proactive in compliance and played a key role in achieving the historic Kigali Amendment last year for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change. As the parties meet in Montreal, there are three key issues of interest for India and other developing countries.
Integrating energy efficiency with refrigerant transitions. With a rapidly growing domestic demand for air conditioning, India recognizes the HFC phase down as an opportunity to redesign room air conditioners to be more efficient and alleviate the strain on its electric grid. The Montreal Protocol’s Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) recently estimated that it is feasible to achieve AC efficiency improvements of 30–40 percent beyond the currently best available technology in the world. The MOP will discuss financial and technical support for energy efficiency. India, and other parties, have called for financial support from the Montreal Protocol’s funding arm, the Multilateral Fund for enabling these efforts.
Multilateral fund replenishment and financing. The parties will also finish their negotiations over replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for 2018–2020 for assistance to developing countries in achieving their previously agreed reduction commitments. TEAP released a report in early October estimating approximately that more than USD 500 million in funding would be required over the 3-year replenishment period. Funding could be provided for Group 2 countries, of which India is a part. An accelerated phase down presents significant advantages for the Indian cooling industry in leapfrogging to the best alternatives and may provide an increased access to multilateral funding. India has in the past met its Montreal Protocol targets ahead of schedule and should aspire to continue that legacy.
Safety standards. Several low-GWP refrigerants are more flammable than the chemicals they are replacing, and India and other parties have articulated the need to address safety concerns. The Montreal Protocol and its implementing agencies are working with countries to understand these safety issues. At the upcoming MOP, the role of international safety standards will be discussed along with Multilateral Fund support for funding efforts on incorporating safe refrigerants.