India-US task force for reducing gases causing global warming

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 0:00 [IST]
 

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) India and the US today set up atask force with the aim of reducing gases which cause globalwarming amid New Delhi''s emphasis on a four-layered approachincluding international treaties and national levelregulations and incentives to deal with the issue.

The decision to set up the task force was taken at aJoint Indo-US workshop on HydroFluoroCarbons (HFCs) attendedby Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and US Deputy AssistantSecretary of State for Environment Daniel A Reifsnyder.

"At the conclusion of the meeting it was decided toestablish a Joint Indo-US Technical Task Force comprisingindustry representatives, scientists, and government officialsto suggest options for HFC phase-down," the EnvironmentMinistry said in a statement.

"The Joint Task Force will submit its report latest byAugust 1, 2011," it said.

Speaking at the workshop, Ramesh said, "India recognisesthat while HFCs, a substitute for CFCs and HCFCs, are a''solution'' from an ozone depletion perspective, they are a''problem'' from climate change perspective, since they havehigh global warming potential."

HFCs are a substitute for ozone depleting gaseschlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons(HCFCs).

"India recognises the importance of addressing thisproblem," Ramesh said and mooted a four-level approach totackle the problem.

"First, action at the multilateral level, through forexample, new or modified international treaties andmultilateral funds. Second, action at the bilateral level,through for example, workshops such as the one beingundertaken today," the Minister said.

"Third, action at the national level, through autonomousactions, for example, national-level regulations andincentives, much like India is already doing as part of itsenergy efficiency agenda through the Bureau of EnergyEfficiency.

"And fourth, action at the industry to industry level,where there are enormous opportunities for technologydevelopment and cooperation, with US companies in particular,"Ramesh said.

Speaking on the occasion, Reifsnyder noted the needfor the transition out of HFCs, and emphasised that an earlytransition would help avoid high costs.

He said that the US was advocating a "phase-down", andnot a "phase-out" of HFCs. .

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