Chennai: India was having differences with the US and other developed countries over drafting a proposal in the Montreal protocol on substances depleting the Ozone layer, a senior union government official said today.
"We are not agreeing to the proposal of phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). We are saying that we don`t have any alternative technology. Our stand has been approved by our Cabinet," Environment and Forests Ministry Additional Secretary Susheel Kumar told reporters here.
US and some developed countries were pushing for the proposal contending that there should be a phase out of HFCs, while India was maintaining that unless it had alternative technology, which was cost effective and environmentally sound, it cannot accept it, he said.
Kumar was participating in a function where prizes were distributed to winners of a drawing competition on the theme of preservation of ozone layer
"Discussions are going on. Almost all developing countries are with us. The immediate benchmark of the protocol is 2013, and the ultimate benchmark is 2043 before which the phase out would be at 85 per cent," Kumar explained.
Asked whether India`s stand was strong enough in its contention, he said, "Since it is a protocol, it can only move forward when there is a consensus among all countries."
Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, whose speech was read out in the function in her absence, said, "The transition from HCFCs to environment-friendly alternatives is challenging, particularly for a developing country like India, which needs to achieve its development goals in an environmentally sustainable manner."
The Montreal Protocol is a protocol which resulted from the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, intends to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances, which are believed to be responsible for the depletion of ozone layer.
United Nations` (UN) international Day for the preservation of ozone layer is observed on September 16 every year.