China’s role in global HFC emissions matters for phase-down proposals

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are potent greenhouse gases. As HFCs have emerged as the pre-dominant alternative to ozone depleting substances, discussions are underway between the representatives of different parties of the Montreal Protocol (MP) to bring HFCs under the ambit of MP. The Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Montreal Protocol is meeting this week in Paris. Till the last OEWG meeting in April in Bangkok, five countries/groupings had presented their proposals for amending the Montreal Protocol to bring HFCs into its purview. All the five proposals largely agree on the HFC phase-down pathway for developed countries. However, there are significant differences in the proposed targets and pathways for the developing (or Article 5) countries. Two proposals that are on the opposite ends are the North American Proposal and the Indian proposal. The other three proposals are somewhere in between.