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Countries agree to informal discussion on management of HFCs

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globe hfcParis, Nov 19 (PTI) In a significant development, nations assembled here on a UN platform today agreed to a European Union proposal to have an informal discussion on the management of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The decision to have an informal discussion on the issue was taken after Arab oil-producing nations strongly opposed the move by the countries headed by the US to set up a contact group to discuss issues related to management of HFCs.

The Arab nations were agreeing to a European Union proposal on the issue.

The wordings of the EU proposal was widely discussed and after suitable changes it was generally approved by the nations.

Climate experts and NGOs attending the conference said that the nations agreeing to have an informal discussion on the issue was “a?reasonable compromise to move ahead” on the matter which was vehemently opposed by developing nations.

“It is a way forward. Considering the level of disagreements that was there between parties, I think it is a reasonable compromise to move ahead and therefore, parties are going to discuss all issues related to management of HFCs which will include?technology, finance including amendment proposals which is on the table,” climate expert Chandra Bhushan told reporters here.

India, which had led the group of developing nations last year to block the developed nations’ move to discuss the issue of HFCs under Montreal Protocol, did not oppose to participate in discussing the issue of harmful greenhouse gas under the protocol.

The change in the Indian stand comes in the wake of a joint statement on HFCs signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama on September 30 this year under which both the nations had agreed to discuss the harmful greenhouse gas under Montreal Protocol.

HFCs — an ozone friendly gas was introduced as a substitute to ozone depleting hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs).

India had been arguing till recently that the Montreal Protocol is a specific treaty for phasing out production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances and was opposed to the proposed amendments to discuss HFCs, which is not an ozone-depleting substance.

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