India gets $82 million to help get rid of CFCs

India is to receive an $82 million grant from the World Bank to enable it to completely phase out the production of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), its government has announced.

‘This is the total funding that would be available to India from the Multilateral Fund for cessation of production of ozone depleting substances for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol,’ a Government statement said.

India is currently the chairman of the executive committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MFMP), which commits signatories to phasing out CFCs and other chemicals by certain dates.

The statement said the project, which will be implemented through the World Bank, will provide financial compensation for CFC-producing enterprises to meet annual production ceilings agreed to by India and the executive committee of the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund.

It said CFC production in India in 1999 did not exceed 22,588 tonnes and will be phased out in 2010.

The statement added that India’s per capita ozone depleting substance consumption is less than three grammes and did not go beyond 20g between 1995 and 1997 compared to the 300g permitted under the Protocol.

With the newly approved project in India, 71% of CFC production in developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEIT) are now slated for phase-out. India is the second largest producer of CFCs in the world, with the 1999 figure being 12% of global production in Article 5 and CEIT countries.

The CFC production closure project is the first sector phase-out strategy for India. It provides India with overall control of CFC production phase-out within a time frame agreed upon with the Executive Committee. It offers more flexibility in fund utilisation while generating new responsibilities and requirements for the government in implementation and management of the project.

Since its creation in 1987, the Montreal Protocol has significantly evolved in response to new scientific findings, the rapid development of alternative technologies and strong commitments of government and industry all over the world. This has resulted in a more stringent phase-out schedule than the one first agreed upon in 1987.

So far, almost all production and consumption of virgin ozone depleting substances (ODSs) has been phased out in the developed world. Similar control measures began to take effect for developing countries on 1 July, 1999, with a freeze on consumption and production of CFCs.

As additional control measures come into effect in the coming years, the upcoming decade will be a critical time for the Parties to the Protocol. Compliance with these measures by developing countries will be a key measure of the success of the Montreal Protocol.

Already, significant reductions in consumption are occurring in most Article 5 countries. With the continuing support of the Multilateral Fund, it is anticipated that all developing countries will meet their freeze targets and subsequent obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

NOTE: An Article 5 country is any developing country that is a Montreal Protocol signatory with a consumption of CFCs and Halons of less than 0.3 kilograms per capita.

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