Has India tossed out the Kama Sutra and come up with another way of screwing the world?
The country is getting in the way of international efforts to protect the climate by phasing out HFCs.
HFCs have become popular coolants since CFCs were phased out under the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 treaty to protect the ozone layer. Today, more than 100 million air conditioners use HFCs in the U.S. alone, and lots of fridges too. The switch from CFCs to HFCs helped save the ozone layer, but it turns out that HFCs are terrible for the climate. And as the ozone heals but the weather goes bonkers, world leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to Chinese President Xi Jinping have been pledging to work together to stamp out the use of HFCs.
India's leaders have publicly voiced support for efforts to ban the use of HFCs by amending the Montreal Protocol. But when it came to crunch time during meetings in Bangkok this week, the nation's negotiators prevented formal discussion of making any such changes. From Bloomberg:
India is blocking an international plan to reduce the polluting gases used in air conditioners and refrigerators, saying negotiators are trying to use the wrong treaty to bring about changes.