Fluorocarbons, which created a hole in the ozone layer, have generated intense global debates. But these have been more about business than environment. The world shifted to other gases twice. Time to make the transition once and for all
‘Developed nations want India to leapfrog to a technology which even they have not accepted’
With climate change negotiations round the corner, an important debate on the use and phase out of hydrofluorocarbons used as coolant in refrigerators and air-conditioners, is expected. Sukumar Devotta, former director at National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), talks to Ankur Paliwal on the politics of HFCs.
Indian fridge manufacturers are juggling their options for a substitute for ozone-depleting substances and some are looking at a revived technology that will no longer make them dependent on Western companies.
The amendments to the Montreal Protocol made at the 9th Meeting of Parties may help curb smuggling of ozone depleting substances and ensure compliance. But they place a heavy responsibility on developing countries who have to move towards the use of substitutes and obtain new technology -- an issue that the protocol has failed to address properly
For manufacturers of ozone destorying substances in the South its time to make a tough call. The protocol brings the bigwigs of the North-based chemical industry to their doorstep. Will they fight by leapfrogging to the best alternatives and beat the competition? Or will they succumb to the lure of immediate profits and be bought out?
NOW THAT developing countries such as India have agreed to respect the Montreal Protocol and phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances, the North is beginning to bare its fangs -- or, more correctly, its dollars.
The refrigerant and air conditioning industry in India remains quiet about its moves post 2002 when it stops using chlorofluorocarbons. Is it also making plans to get 'compensation' to do nothing? And in this carnival of big business what chances do the owners of small-scale units have of surviving the protocol? Why no one will talk of them?