India has successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b, which is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
India’s target to phase out HCFC
- India had proactively and successfully taken the challenge of the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b, which is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises by 1.1.2020.
- Various initiatives related to HCFC are:
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) brought out a notification in the Gazette of India through which the issuance of import license for HCFC-141b is prohibited from 1st January 2020 under Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019 issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- HCFC-141b is not produced in the country and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. With this notification, prohibiting the import of HCFC-141 b, the country has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical.
- Simultaneously, the use of HCFC-141 b by foam manufacturing industry has also been closed as on 1st January 2020 under the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014.
- Nearly, 50 % of the consumption of ozone-depleting chemicals in the country was attributable to HCFC-141 b in the foam sector. The Ministry adopted a structured approach to engage with foam manufacturing enterprises for providing technical and financial assistance in order to transition to non-ODS and low Global warming potential (GWP) technologies under the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP).
- Around 175 foam manufacturing enterprises have been covered under HPMP out of which, 163 enterprises are covered under stage II of HPMP. The complete phase-out of HCFC 141 b from the country in the foam sector is among the first at this scale in Article 5 parties (developing countries) under the Montreal Protocol.
Phase-out of HCFCs – the Montreal Amendment
- Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are gases used worldwide in refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam applications, but they are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol since depleting the ozone layer.
- HCFCs are both ODS and powerful greenhouse gases: the most commonly used HCFC is nearly 2,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its global warming potential (GWP). Recognizing the potential benefits to the Earth’s climate, in September 2007 the Parties decided to accelerate their schedule to phase out HCFCs.
- Developed countries have been reducing their consumption of HCFCs and will completely phase them out by 2020.
- Developing countries agreed to start their phase-out process in 2013 and are now following a stepwise reduction until the complete phase-out of HCFCs by 2030.
- (HCFC)-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
- HCFC-141b is a colorless & transparent liquid under ordinary temperature
The phase-out of HCFC-141b from the country has twin environmental benefits viz.
- Assisting the healing of the stratospheric ozone layer, and
- Towards the climate change mitigation due to the transitioning of foam manufacturing enterprises at this scale under HPMP to low global warming potential alternative technologies.