2nd May, 2002
Ministry of Environment & Forests


INDIA & UNEP JOIN HANDS TO SAVE THE OZONE LAYER


A bold new initiative, aimed at accelerating the phase out of ozone-damaging chemicals across India, was launched here today jointly by the Indian Government and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Under the initiative, four big manufacturers of chloroflurocarbons (CFCs), chemicals used in fridges, air conditioning units and aerosols which have been found to damage the Earth’s protective shield have voluntarily signed a pledge for introducing new, cleaner, production technologies. These four major chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) producers in India, namely, Chemplast Sanmar Ltd., Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd., Mafatlal Industries Ltd. and SRF Ltd., signed here today a voluntary pledge reiterating their commitment to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances.

Shri P.V. Jayakrishnan, Secretary, Ministry for Environment and Forests, in his presidential address mentioned about the initiatives taken by the Government to facilitate the phase out of Ozone Depleting Substances. He explained the importance given to Ozone Depleting Substances production phase out and support to small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for cost effective phase out.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Klaus Toepfer, the Executive Director of UNEP, said: "India, as the world’s second biggest manufacturer of CFCs after China, has already made great strides in reducing and phasing out these damaging substances whose production and consumption harm the stratospheric ozone layer, the Earth’s shield which filters out harmful levels of the sun’s ultra violet light".

In 1999 India was granted US$ 82 million to assist in the phase out of the chemicals under the terms of Montreal Protocol, the international treaty drawn up to cut the levels of ozone-depleting substances entering the upper atmosphere. Production by the four companies concerned is scheduled to reach zero in 2010 from a peak production figure of 23, 659 tonnes at the end of the 1990s.

Voluntary pledge initiative will spur on other developing countries to adopt similar, ozone-friendly schemes.

   
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