India-U.S. Agreement Fuels Global Consensus to Reduce HFCs
On September 27th, The White House
announced a joint agreement between the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Obama to immediately
assemble the India-U.S. Climate Change Working Group to discuss multilateral approaches in phasing down the
"consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), based on economically viable and technically feasible alternatives."
With this agreement, following a similar move from China in June, it appears a global
consensus concerning the need to reduce HFC emissions under the Montreal Protocol is within reach.
The Montreal Protocol is often regarded as the best framework to globally phase down the use of HFCs
due to the high number of countries participating. However, opposition from countries like India and
China hindered previous attempts to reach a global agreement, thus making these recent commitments a
huge step forward.
According to The Economic Times, India, like China, is projected to
be one of the biggest consumers of HFCs due to a boom in consumerism and improvements in living standards.
This agreement to work together to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs does not have any specific
timelines; however it symbolizes a now global effort to tackle climate change and opens the door for formal
discussions at the Montreal Protocol meetings in Bangkok, Thailand later this month.