USA: A leading green group has accused multinational companies of “double standards” in transitioning away from HFC refrigerants in developing countries like India.
A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) claims that while many fast food chains and beverage retailers have made significant voluntary commitments to move to HFC refrigeration and cooling systems in their parent market, they refuse to do so in India.
Eight fast food chains are targeted in the report: Burger King, Café Coffee Day, Domino’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway and Yum! Brands. The EIA says that these chains alone could add more than 120 million MTCO2e from increased electricity consumption in India by 2030, yet by purchasing HFC-free equipment in all new retail locations could save in excess of $300m due to increased efficiency.
“Under the Kigali Amendment, India will be one of the last countries to begin control measures on HFCs, making earlier action by multinationals imperative to encourage innovation and keep pace with the global market,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA climate campaign lead. “This report shows that while switching to energy-efficient HFC-free alternatives could save them up to $300m through 2030, big multinationals continue to use outdated cooling technology that adds to Indian emissions burden.”
The report urges multinational fast food chains and beverage retailers to commit to moving away from HFC-based refrigeration and urges the Government of India to mandate large multinationals to only install new equipment utilising low global warming potential refrigerants.
“Even after the adoption of the Kigali amendment to phase-down HFCs, multinational companies continue to practice double standards in developing countries like India,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director of the Centre for Science and Environment, a green research group based in New Delhi.
“While they have made significant voluntary commitments to move to green refrigeration and cooling systems in their parent market, they refuse to do so in India. The government should think about imposing strict standards on them,” he added.
Transitioning HFCs in India: Why Multinationals Must Support India’s Kigali Amendment Goals can be read and downloaded here.