Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Acting on Many Fronts

Incentives and Regulations to Phase-down HFCs in India

Shikha Bhasin, Apurupa Gorthi, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Torgrim Asphjell
March 2019 | Sustainable Cooling

Suggested Citation: Bhasin, Shikha,  Apurupa Gorthi, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, and Torgrim Asphjell. 2019. Acting on Many Fronts: Incentives and Regulations to Phase-down HFCs in India. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water. 


This report provides insights on creating an ecosystem for India's successful transition away from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), maps the global regulatory options that could be adopted, and emphasises on the need for policy certainty. The report, published in collaboration with the Norwegian Environment Agency, is based on in-depth interviews with more than 60 industry stakeholders including primary refrigerant consumers, refrigerant manufacturers and suppliers, component manufacturers and suppliers, industry association representatives, and commercial users of products

As part of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, 197 countries committed to lower consumption and production of HFCs with high global warming potential (GWP). Under the Kigali deal, India agreed to curtail its HFC emissions by 85 per cent before 2047.

Sectoral mix of industry stakeholders interviewed

Source: CEEW compilation, 2019

How can India successfully transition away from HFCs?

  • Focus on policy certainty
    Policy certainty is key to realising India’s international commitments to phasing down HFCs. This will help create supply-chain readiness and encourage extensive investments that are necessary.
  • Impose a medium-term upper limit on GWPs
    Almost 70 per cent of the stakeholders we interviewed found this to be the most impactful and preferred policy choice for India. This entails imposing a GWP limit on refrigerants for each specific application, based on the two or three lowest GWPs existing in the market for each application or equipment. This would be supported by a financial incentive to the end user who will receive a rebate on the price of low-GWP products.

Source: Satish Kumar

  • Meticulous checks at each level of transition
    It is critical to have regular checks in the implementation of a refrigerant-focused policy for a successful HFC phase-down in India. These include institutionalising measurement, review, and verification (MRV); controlling stockpiling, and regulating the availability and pricing of refrigerants to avoid market manipulation.
  • Foster awareness about refrigerant transition
    This will play an essential role for all stakeholders involved in the process - for consumers to change their purchasing behaviour and demand, for industry to prepare for the impending refrigerant transition, and service sector technicians to ensure safety and maintenance.
  • Formulate policies supporting HFC phase-down
    Policies that support domestic competitiveness in manufacturing and in R&D, to subsequently limit reliance on non-certified and imported components and products would support India’s HFC phase-down strategy.
Almost 70 per cent of the stakeholders we interviewed found imposing a medium-term upper limit on GWPs to be the most impactful and preferred policy choice for India.

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