150 countries have sent representatives to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, to discuss a new climate accord. The purpose of the meeting is to urge nations to implement measures that would reduce HFC emissions.
Hydrofluorocarbon gasses, also known as HFCs, are largely the result of industries such as refrigeration and air conditioning. Seen as one of the main causes for the depletion of the ozone layer, they are considered to be 10,000 more destructive than carbon dioxide.
More than 100 countries, including the United States, members of the European Union and African countries agree that the deadline for an HFC drastic reduction should be 2021.
However, India is one key player that considers the deadline too steep. Anil Madhav Have, India’s Environment Minister, suggests the year 2031 as the time limit for his country, and other developing nations to reduce HFCs emissions.
His argument is that national industries would not have the time to adapt to the regulations come 2021. Jake Schmidt, representing the Natural Resources Defense Council of the United States, thinks that the pushback suggested by India would impoverish Earth’s atmosphere with the equivalent of one year of global carbon emissions.
This marks the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It was first agreed upon in 1987.
Rwanda was chosen for this meeting because of its successful and continued effort to reduce HFC emissions. The country is known for becoming chlorofluorocarbon-free in the year 2010. For that, it has received United Nations Environment Program awarded Rwanda the Ozone Protection award in 2012.
The HFC accord would mark another important step in the united effort from most of the world’s nations to try and reduce global warming. The Paris Agreement of December 2015 saw the first important decision to drastically reduce greenhouse gasses emissions starting with 2020.
Though India did sign to reduce 4.10% of its greenhouse gas emissions, the large nation seems to have difficulty in coming to terms with a deadline.
The failure to comply can also be seen as a result of India’s longstanding problem with pollution. Lists and “Top 10s” of “most polluted countries” or “most polluted cities” usually differ from one another, because of the different aspects which they research and analyze. However, India is featured in such lists more often than not, especially as a result of the infamous smog problem in its capital, New Delhi.
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