Govt orders ban on release of super-greenhouse gas

Raj Kamal Rao
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave at the venue of Conference on Montreal Protocol Rwanda  Photo: Twitter/MEF& CC

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave at the venue of Conference on Montreal Protocol Rwanda
Photo: Twitter/MEF& CC

Government of India has decided to eliminate the greenhouse gas (HFC-32) from the country following Montreal agreement and agreed to limit the emission of dangerous gases that destroy the ozone layer.

HFC-23 gas is a potent greenhouse gas with high global warming potential. The global warming potential of HFC-23 is 14,800 times more than that of CO2, making it an extremely potent greenhouse gas.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave announced the decision of the government at the venue of Conference on Montreal Protocol Rwanda on Thursday.

“India will no longer permit the release of HFC-23, a family of potent greenhouse gases, released when local companies produce the refrigerant HCFC-22,” said Environment Minister Anil Dave.

“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). Bhushan is attending the Kigali negotiations.

As part of its commitment to combat the threat emanating from climate-damaging Hydro-fluoro-carbons government issued an order confirming Minister Dave’s announcement. Environment Minister Anil Dave is in Kigali, Rwanda to attend the high-level segment of the conference on Montreal Protocol.

“The government, hereby directs that…all HCFC-22 plants to destroy HFC-23 produced as a by-product of HCFC-22 production through incineration using an efficient and proven technology such as thermal oxidation,” says the order signed by Manoj Kumar Singh, joint secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

With immediate effect, Environment Ministry has ordered five registered enterprises producing HCFC-22 in India, namely SRF Ltd, Gujarat Fluorocarbons Ltd, Navin Fluorine International Ltd, Chemplast Sanmart Ltd and Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd to ensure proper upkeep and maintenance of incineration plants of HFC-23, “so that the down time of incineration plants is maintained below 10 per cent”.

It has also directed the companies to create and maintain sufficient storage capacity to ensure that all HFC-23 is stored during any authorised incineration shutdown, so that no vending occurs.

As per the Environment Minister, “HFC-23 gas, a potent greenhouse gas with global warming potential 14,800 times more than CO2 is produced as a by-product of HCFC-22 manufacturing, and if vented out in environment, it is a threat to the environment”.

A N Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), said this decision of India at this juncture fortifies the determination and commitment of the country on climate issues.

In the ongoing negotiations at Kigali (Rwanda) on phase-out of HFCs, some developing countries, including China, are demanding financial support from developed countries for incineration of HFC-23