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Ozone meeting makes proposals on controlling emissions

Geneva, 9 July 1998 - Some 300 delegates from 97 countries attending the Open-ended Working Group on the Montreal Protocol here have concluded their deliberations on efforts to protect the Earth's ozone shield. Their proposals will now be forwarded to the Meeting of the Parties, which will take place in Cairo this November, for decisions and action.

Some of the key issues of the 7 to 9 July meeting were:

  • While atmospheric concentrations of CFCs have started to decline as a result of emissions controls, concentrations of halons have continued to increase. The meeting therefore recommended national management strategies for reducing halon emissions.
  • Parties should develop national transition strategies for moving towards non-CFC metered dose inhalers (MDIs - used against asthma). However, a coordinated global strategy will not be needed.
  • A number of new substances (namely Chlorobromomethane, n-propylbromide and Halon-1202) that deplete ozone have the potential to be marketed as replacements for ozone-depleting substances controlled under the Protocol.
  • The working group considered a proposal to adopt measures to limit the export of new and/or used products and equipment that require CFCs or other controlled substances (e.g. refrigerators). Acknowledging the widespread nature of this problem, the group recommended that each country identify the items it does not want to be imported. A list of these could be maintained by the Secretariat and communicated to all Parties on a regular basis.
  • The Implementation Committee discussed the non-compliance procedure of the Montreal Protocol. It concluded that most Parties are in compliance with their commitments. For those few countries that have had difficulties complying with their phase-out schedules, the Committee recommended a continuous review of their cases and the provision of international financial and technical assistance to help them achieve full compliance within the next few years.
  • Based on the Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) Data Report for 1996, the Implementation Committee identified the following areas of success in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol by developing countries:
    • Consumption of CFCs in developing countries decreased by 14 per cent from 1995 to 1996.
    • 26 countries have decreased their consumption of CFCs for the last three years or more.
    • 39 (out of the 90 that have reported) reported that in 1996 they did not consume any halons.
    • 50 reported that in 1996 they did not consume any carbon tetrachloride.
    • 43 reported zero consumption of methyl chloroform for 1996.
  • There has been a growing realization that there are important scientific and policy links between the Montreal Protocol and the Climate Change Convention. The working group recognized that HFCs and PFCs (developed as replacements for HCFCs and CFCs) contribute to global warming and are explicitly targeted by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Scientific Assessment Panel also informed the Working Group that global warming may slow the rate of the healing process of the ozone layer, because as the atmosphere warms near the ground the stratosphere will become even colder. The Working Group requested the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) of the Montreal Protocol to cooperate with the Climate Change Convention's Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and with the UNEP/WMO Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess how action under the Kyoto Protocol may affect the Montreal Protocol, and vice versa.
  • While 165 countries are members of the Montreal Protocol, it was noted that many of these members have not ratified the Protocol's 1992 Copenhagen Amendment, which controls HCFCs and methyl bromide among other substances. The meeting urged the speedy ratification of this amendment in order to give the right signal to industry and to ensure that developing countries are eligible to receive assistance from the Multilateral Fund for projects covering substances controlled by this amendment.
  • The Group asked the TEAP to start preparing the terms of reference for a study on the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the period 2000-2002. The replenishment will be decided by the Meeting of the Parties in 1999.

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For more information please contact:

Michael Williams in Geneva at
(+41-22) 979 9242/44, fax (+41-22) 797 3464,
e-mail mwilliams@unep.ch
or
Anders Renlund at 9799272.

Official documents and other materials are available on the Internet at
www.unep.org/unep/secretar/ozone/home.htm or www.unep.ch/ozone.

UNEP Information Note 1998/14

Friday 07 Aug 1998
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