Washington: India and the US have decided to set up a joint task force to examine effective approaches to reduce use of climate-damaging chemicals known as hydrofluoro- carbons (HFCs).

It will also study how to encourage development and commercialization of alternatives with low global warming potential.

The task force is being established in recognition of the challenges faced by the current phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer' (Montreal Protocol).

HFCs, adopted as alternatives to HCFCs and other ozone-depleting substances, have no ozone-depletion properties but they have high global warming properties.

The task force aims to develop options for reducing global HFC use.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Reifsnyder and India's Joint Secretary (Climate) J M Mauskar will co-chair the task force, which will include representatives from both governments as well as the industry, scientists and technical experts, the State Department said.

The task force is expected to issue a report in August to describe the status of HFC alternatives and examine policy aspects of various approaches for the same.

Agency inputs