Progress on Climate Change: India Takes Driver's Seat in Amending the Montreal Protocol - Part 2


In this two part blog series, we discuss the key areas for discussion, including the new proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol by India, during the meeting of the parties in Bangkok. Part 1 is an overview and Part 2 focuses on the Indian HFC amendment proposal.

The Indian government recently took a leading role in global efforts to address climate change by proposing a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase-down amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol). The proposed amendment, put forward on 16th April, 2015, would phase down production and consumption of these powerful heat-trapping gases.

Issues related to an HFC phase-down will be discussed at the 35th Session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, starting on 22nd April 2015 in Bangkok. An HFC amendment could be agreed at the November 2015 Meeting of the Parties in Dubai.

A new draft fact sheet (available here) by NRDC, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), with contributions from Stephen Seidel, lays out the key features of India's proposed amendment and compares it to other HFC phase-down proposals put forward by the North American countries, the European Union, Micronesia, and the African Group.

Key features of India's proposed amendment are:

  • A list of 19 HFC substances divided into four groups.
  • Controls on HFCs starting in 2016 for developed countries (Non-Article 5 Parties) and 2031 for developing countries (Article 5 Parties), allowing a 15-year grace period.
  • Multilateral Fund support for full conversion costs for Article 5 Parties.
  • Maintaining the authority under the UNFCCC/Kyoto Protocol to account for and report on HFC emissions.
  • Licensing of HFC production, import and export, reporting requirements, and limitations on HFC imports and exports to non-Parties.

India's proposal with regard to the Multilateral Fund (MLF) differs from other amendment proposals. Where other proposals call for covering agreed incremental costs (the approach currently used under the Protocol), India proposes including MLF payment for full conversion costs. These are defined to include civil, electrical, and mechanical aspects of the facility; lost profits and full conversion costs for HFC production plants, manufacturing equipment, and operating costs for 5 years; training, technicians, awareness, tools, and payment for premature retirement of equipment; and double conversion costs wherever transitional technologies are to be deployed.

HFCs were introduced to replace ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in applications including refrigeration, air conditioning, fire protection and technical and medical aerosol products, but they are no longer necessary in most applications. The Indian proposal exempts HFC production and consumption for metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and other medical applications, and for feedstock applications.

As the global consensus builds towards phasing down HFCs through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, this week's Montreal Protocol meeting is an important opportunity to identify the key issues that need to be resolved through negotiation. These include:

  • List of chemicals and possible chemical groupings for HFCs
  • Calculation of baseline for Article 5 and Non-Article 5 Parties
  • Timetable for freeze and reduction of production and consumption of HFCs
  • Basis of financing: agreed incremental costs or full conversion costs; and the start date for funding

The following charts and the table included in the fact sheet summarize key aspects of the amendment proposals put forward for the Montreal Protocol to date.



Source: UNEP (2015) (India)


Source: UNEP (2015) (North American)

India's proposal signals that the pace of international engagement on HFCs is quickening. An amendment to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol will give Article 5 Parties access to technology and financial support under a treaty with a proven track record and a functioning framework. An amendment can and should be agreed this year, at the Conference of the Parties in November in Dubai.


The full Indian proposal is available here:

The draft fact sheet by NRDC, CEEW and IGSD, with contributions from Stephen Seidel, analyzing the Indian proposal is available here:

Publications For Further Reading

Primer on Hydrofluorocarbons, March 2015,

Reducing Stress on India's Energy Grid: The Power Sector Benefits of Transitioning to Lower Global Warming Potential and Energy Efficient Refrigerants in Room Air Conditioners, March 2015

Energy Efficiency Gains with Lower Global Warming Impact: A Profile of Air Conditioners Using R-290, November 2014

Energy Efficiency Gains with Lower Global Warming Impact: A Profile of Air Conditioners Using R-32, November 2014

Frequently Asked Questions on HFCs, October 2014

Modelling Long Term HFC Emissions from India's Residential Air-Conditioning Sector, July 2014 

Update on the HFC Phase-Down in Mobile Air Conditioning: Global Automakers Moving to HFO-1234yf, Except Some German Automakers Waiting for CO2 Systems, March 2014

Cooling India with Less Warming: The Business Case for Phasing Down HFCs in Room and Vehicle Air Conditioners, December 2013 conditioner-efficiency.asp