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Environment Minister Emphasises Relevance of Indian Lifestyle and its low Carbon Footprint at Negotiations for Phasing down of HFCs

Environment Minister Emphasises Relevance of Indian Lifestyle and its low Carbon Footprint at Negotiations for Phasing down of HFCs

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Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, leading the Indian Team, in negotiations underway for amending the Montreal Protocol for phasing down of HFCs, has emphasized the relevance of Indian lifestyle and its low carbon footprint. Highlighting the significance of India ratifying the Paris agreement on day of Gandhi Jayanti, he reiterated the influence of Gandhian thoughts on management of natural resources to meet everybody’s need rather than the excessive exploitation (greed) by a few.

Shri Dave, starting the breakfast meet at Kigali, Rwanada, with all the Environment Ministers from different countries, Administrator, Environment Protection Agency, USA, and Commissioner, European Union today, very clearly put forth the stand of India on the subject, and mentioned about the flexibility exhibited by advancing the baseline years by four years from the original amendment proposal filed in April 2015.

The Minister also clarified the need for measures required for preserving and accelerating the growth of Indian economy for improving the lives of millions of people. Fully acknowledging the vulnerability of India to Climate Change issues because of its majority population dependent on agriculture and long coastline, Shri Dave emphasized the importance and Government’s commitment for accelerating the growth of economy and infrastructure for providing people with basic amenities and meeting their aspirations.

The Environment Minister mentioned that this is the time for India and every Indian to realize their full potential with judicious use of resources. He also highlighted the important programmes of the Government, like Doubling the Farmer’s Income by 2022, 100 Smart Cities, and Make in India. All these programmes have some dependence on the refrigeration and air-conditioning technologies, and India at this juncture has to balance the environmental and economic needs in most judicious manner.

Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri A. N Jha, is accompanying the Minister in the high-level meetings and also presented the Statement on behalf of the Government of India in the plenary meeting. He clarified that accepting the need for early action India has advanced its baseline, but the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities requires reciprocating actions on the part of the developed countries.

Shri Jha noted that securing a CO2 equivalent space of around 100 to 120 million tons in baseline of India only means that from the current level of 42 million tons, CO2 equivalent in next 10 years the usage of HFC will grow by additional 80 million tons CO2 equivalent. Though it means an increase of 200 % in ten years or 20% a year, but it is based on the past experience in growth of HFCs between 2010 and 2015. By not having a freeze and first reduction in 2032, the industry and different sectors can grow till 2030, using the current refrigerants, without causing any additional economic burden on account of the higher cost of the refrigerants. He emphasized that India would like to retain its global position as exporter of refrigerants, even with the new generation of refrigerants.

The other members in the Indian team are Joint Secretary, Shri Manoj Kumar Singh, Director in the Ministry, Shri Amit Love. There is also a strong delegation from Indian industry of refrigerants manufacturers, foam sector and Civil Society Organizations active in the field of environment.

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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