7 March 2019: The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), in partnership with the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA), hosted a national dialogue on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in India that focused on incentives and regulations to help India realize its international commitments on the phase-down of HFCs.

HFCs are a group of industrial chemicals primarily used in cooling and refrigeration.

The national dialogue on ‘Phasing Down HFCs in India: Incentives and Regulations’ took place on 7 March 2019 in New Delhi, India. It brought together industry, government representatives and other stakeholders. Speakers included India’s Joint Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Geeta Menon, and Ambassador of Norway to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg.

Discussions focused on incentives and regulatory approaches to support India’s eventual HFC phase-down, and highlighted challenges in the phase-down’s early stages such as the viability of alternatives. The dialogue also addressed the need for research and development in ensuring that technology is affordable.

Policy certainty is a must for India’s industry to attract investments in alternative low GWP refrigerants.

Participants noted that India’s cooling requirements are expected to increase, and highlighted national initiatives such as an energy efficiency programme and India’s National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP). The dialogue also discussed collaboration between the MoEFCC and the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship that focuses on “upskilling” and certification of technicians under the Skill India Mission. Other issues under discussion included end-of-life disposal of HFCs, finance, lifecycle climate performance, appropriate standards for import of air conditioners and challenges of a growing population across regions.

Participants also discussed the outcomes of CEEW’s year-long independent study that are laid out in a report titled, ‘Acting on Many Fronts: Incentives and Regulations to Phase-down HFCs in India.’ The study is based on interviews and consultations with over 60 industry stakeholders, and provides insights into approaches to refrigerant transition, top regulatory options that India could adopt, and how policy certainty could lead to gains for domestic priorities.

Shikha Bhasin, Programme Lead, CEEW, and lead author of the study, said when India issued the draft NCAP in 2018, it became the first country to release a national cooling action plan. Bhasin further noted that policy certainty is “a must” for India’s industry to ensure supply chain readiness and to attract investments in alternative low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. [CEEW Press Release] [Acting on Many Fronts Incentives and Regulations to Phase-down HFCs in India] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]