Kigali (Rwanda): In a major development to phase down hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs), the Indian government has unveiled a domestic legislation that mandates control on the emissions of trifluoro-methane (HFC-23), which is a super greenhouse gas, according to reports .
HFC-23 is released as a by-product during the manufacturing of a commonly used refrigerant gas, chloro-difluoromethane (HCFC-22). The global warming potential of HFC-23 is 14,800 times more than that of CO2, making it an extremely potent greenhouse gas.
The legislation requires five Indian companies which manufacture HCFC-22 to capture and then incinerate HFC-23 so that its release into the atmosphere is eliminated. This will potentially avoid emissions of HFC-23 equivalent to 100 million tonne of CO2 over the next 15 years.
“With this domestic legislation to control the emissions of HFC-23, India is sending a strong signal to the world that it is serious about the climate change issue,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). He is attending the Kigali negotiations.
At the Kigali meeting, where final negotiations are taking place to reduce the use of HFCs, chemical industry lobbies have been trying hard to make developed countries pay for the incineration of HFC-23. With this legislation, however, India has announced to the world that it will control the emissions of HFC-23 on its own — without any financial support from developed countries.