Why in news?
=>On World Ozone Day, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the draft Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) along with a booklet on the ‘Montreal Protocol – India’s Success Story’, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
=>A refurbished website on the Ozone Cell of the Ministry and a Management Information System (MIS) for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) were also launched on the occasion.
=>It also released two handbooks for trainers and technicians on “Good Service Practices and installation of room air-conditioners with HCFC-22 and flammable refrigerants”.
=>The Kerala floods were only the most recent reminder of how climate change can cause unprecedented damage and recent revelations of ‘ Hothouse Earth’ predicts that things will only get worse.
In its aftermath, India, as a part of the Montreal Protocol, is the first country to device a ‘Cooling Action Plan’ in an attempt to phase out ‘Ozone Depleting Substances’.
What is the purpose of this plan?
=>Currently, India is staring at an eight-fold increase of cooling demand in the coming 20 years. Air conditioners, in particular, make more than half of that demand. That being said, India’s per capita energy consumption is still much lower than the developed nations like Japan and the UN, and even the developing countries like Brazil and Mexico.
=>ICAP not only addresses how cooling requirements differ from sector to sector, it also lists of actions that can potentially reduce the overall cooling demands of the country.
=>The overall mission of the ICAP is to provide cooling, as well as heating, in a sustainable and pareto-optimal way without any environmental and socio-economic externalities.
=>This will help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions. The thrust of the ICAP is to look for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits.
=>The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.
Goals of ICAP:
The goals emerging from the suggested interventions stated in ICAP are:
The broad objectives of the India Cooling Action Plan include
=>The document puts India at the bottom in “access” to cooling, compared to the rest of the world, which it says is reflected in “low per-capita levels” of energy consumption for space cooling — 69 kWh against the world average of 272 kWh.
=>The cooling requirement in India, in tonnes of refrigeration (TR), is projected to grow around eight times by 2037-38. The building sector shows the most significant growth in required TR, nearly 11 times as compared to 2017-18.
=>The cold-chain and refrigeration sectors grow around 4 times and transport air-conditioning grows around 5 times the 2017-18 levels.
=>According to the International Energy Agency, even globally the building sector is the largest energy-consuming sector accounting for one-third of total energy consumption worldwide. The building sector includes residential housing as well as the sub-sectors of the services segment.
The ozone factor:
=>The draft notes a large part of the cooling demand is met through refrigerant-based cooling. These refrigerants are regulated under the Montreal Protocol regime on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. India is a signatory.
=>In the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Protocol, India and a few other developing countries had agreed to phase down hydrofluorocarbons commonly used in air-conditioners by 85% of their 2024-26 levels by 2047.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana:
=>The Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has already undertaken an important initiative for upskilling of 100,000 Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Servicing technicians in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) – Skill India Mission.
=>In 1985 the Vienna Convention established mechanisms for international co-operation in research into the ozone layer and the effects of ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs). 1985 also marked the first discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole.
=>On the basis of the Vienna Convention, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was negotiated and signed by 24 countries and by the European Economic Community in September 1987. The Protocol called for the Parties to phase down the use of CFCs, halons and other man-made ODCs.
=>The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the landmark multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 manmade chemicals referred to as ozone depleting substances (ODS).
=>When released to the atmosphere, those chemicals damage the stratospheric ozone layer, Earth’s protective shield that protects humans and the environment from harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
=>Adopted on 15 September 1987, the Protocol is to date the only UN treaty ever that has been ratified every country on Earth – all 197 UN Member States.
=>The Montreal Protocol phases down the consumption and production of the different ODS in a step-wise manner, with different timetables for developed and developing countries.
World Ozone Day:
=>International Day for the preservation of Ozone Layer is an annual observance. It is celebrated on 16th of September every year to spread awareness and bring attention to the depletion of the ozone layer. The theme for World Ozone Day 2018 is ‘Keep Cool and Carry On: The Montreal Protocol’.
Pic courtesy:MadGuy The Government Job App
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