India, US to cut use of HFC refrigeration gas

The US government on Wednesday declared  support for a global plan to phase down the use of the commonplace refrigeration gas that warms up the climate, but remained silent on the replacement material.

“The two countries continue to work together to adopt a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) amendment in 2016 with increased financial support from donor countries to the Multilateral Fund to help developing countries with implementation, and an ambitious phase down schedule,” says the joint statement, issued after the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The road map to substantially reduce the use of HFC - the cooling gas used in AC and fridge - would be decided at an UN meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in October. At a pre-conference negotiation in Vienna in July, several proposals were submitted on the baseline, a cut-off date for developing countries including India and on the developed nation’s role.

The developed nations accepted the need to have a flexible attitude for the developing world, but there was divergence on the topic of intellectual property rights and funding.
While the environmentalists want a safer and non-patented technology, the developed world is in favour of expensive new generation chemicals, owned by a handful of companies.

The Indo-US joint statement is silent on this.

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