India Cooling Action Plan: Harsh Vardhan releases draft plan which lists out actions to reduce cooling demand

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Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan Monday released a draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) which lists out actions which can help reduce the cooling demand, thus helping in reducing emissions.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan Monday released a draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) which lists out actions which can help reduce the cooling demand, thus helping in reducing emissions. India is the first country in world to develop such a document – ICAP, which also gives thrust towards looking for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits, a senior official said.

The Minister said the World Ozone Day, which was on Sunday, offers an opportunity to focus global attention and action on the vital environmental issue of protection of the ozone layer while stressing the need to strengthen active collaboration between the government, industries and all other stakeholders. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the ministry has already undertaken an important initiative for upskilling of 1,00,000 refrigeration and air-conditioning servicing technicians in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) – Skill India Mission.

The minister underlined the need to work consistently under the aegis of the Montreal Protocol to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances. Apart from the ICAP, the minister also release a booklet on ‘Montreal Protocol – India’s Success Story’. 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. The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The minister also released two handbooks for trainers and technicians on “Good Service Practices and installation of room air-conditioners with HCFC-22 and flammable refrigerants” apart from presenting awards to students for various competitions.

Union Environment secretary C K Mishra said the ministry has developed a very strong linkage with the industry and other stakeholders and along with energy efficiency, it is critical to identify the usage of gases and not merely replacement of gases. He emphasised about the government’s effort is to provide thermal comfort to those who have no access to it.

“There are alternative ways to cooling that should be looked at. Another issue is an army of trained manpower to handle manufacturing and maintenance,” he said while also pointing out the criticality of the need for finances and expanding research and development (R&D). “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,” an official statement said.

The goals emerging from the suggested interventions stated in ICAP are – recognition of ‘cooling and related areas’ as a thrust area of research under national science and technology programme to support development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges, reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20-25 per cent by 2037-38 among others.

The other goals from the suggestions include reduction of refrigerant demand by 25-30 per cent by 2037-38, reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25-40 per cent by 2037-38 and training and certification of 1,00,000 servicing sector technicians by the year 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission.

“The broad objectives of the ICAP include assessment of cooling requirements across sectors in next 20 years and the associated refrigerant demand and energy use, map the technologies available to cater the cooling requirement including passive interventions, refrigerant-based technologies and alternative technologies such as not-in-kind technologies among others, other objectives also include suggesting interventions in each sector to provide for sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all, focussing on skilling of RAC service technicians and developing research and development innovation ecosystem for indigenous development of alternative technologies, the statement said.

ICAP had been prepared by the ministry after extensive deliberations and multi-stakeholders engagement in public domain for receiving comments. “Keep Cool and Carry on” : The Montreal Protocol is the theme of 24th World Ozone Day celebrations. The Montreal Protocol is the only environmental treaty which enjoys universal ratification of 197 UN numbers countries.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has been recognized as the most successful international environment treaty in history. Its implementation has not only led to the phase-out of around 98 per cent of ozone-depleting chemicals but also averted more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Nearly 2 million cases of skin cancer per year have been averted globally, the statement said. India has consciously chosen a path for most environment-friendly and energy efficient technologies while phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances, unlike many of the developed countries.

Source: Financial Express

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