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India successfully phased out most potent ozone-depleting chemical

India has achieved a complete phase out of one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemical substances-(HCFC)-141 b.

Jan 23, 2020 15:53 IST
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India has successfully achieved a complete phase-out of one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals- Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b.

The (HCFC)-141 b chemical is one most potent depleting substances after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). It is generally used by foam manufacturers as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. The harmful chemical was successfully phased from the foam manufacturing process by January 1, 2020.

India had taken the challenge to stop using the chemical as a part of its conscious effort to opt for more environmental friendly and energy-efficient technologies and phase out the use of all Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs).

Significance

India is among the few countries that aim to use technologies, which have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP) and are non-ozone depleting. India is also a pioneer in some of the cases. The complete phase out of HCFC 141 b from India is among the first at this scale among developing countries.  

HCFC-141b phase-out: Key Highlights

HCFC-141 b chemical accounted for almost 50 percent of the consumption of ozone-depleting chemicals in India.

The chemical was not produced in the country but all the domestic requirements were met through imports. The chemical was dominantly used in the foam sector.

The Ministry adopted an HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) to completely phase out the use of the chemical.

Under the plan, the Ministry adopted a structured approach to engage with the foam manufacturers to provide them with technical and financial assistance to transition to non-ODS and low GWP technologies.

Over 175 foam manufacturing enterprises have been covered under the HCFC phase-out plan, among which 163 enterprises were covered under stage II of the plan.

The implementation of the phase-out plan through regulatory and policy actions and the implementation of technology conversion projects have successfully removed around 7800 metric tonnes of HCFC 141-b from the baseline level of 2009-2010 of the country. 

India has now fully prohibited the import of HCFC-141 b. The use of the chemical by the foam manufacturing industry was also prohibited from January 1, 2020, under the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014.

Impact

The complete phase-out of HCFC-141b will:

(i) Assist in the healing of the stratospheric ozone layer.

(ii) Boost efforts to fight climate change, as all the form manufacturing companies will turn towards low global warming potential alternative technologies.

Background

The Environment Ministry issued a notification on December 31, 2019 prohibiting the issuance of import license for HCFC-141b chemical from January 1, 2020 onwards.

The government made the announcement as a part of its effort to move towards more environmental friendly technologies.

India imposed a ban on the import of HCFC-141b under Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019 issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

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