Negotiators from some 140 governments have adopted a $573 million funding package to halve the consumption and production in developing countries of CFCs - the leading destroyer of the stratospheric ozone layer - by the year 2005
UNEP News release
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Nairobi, 1 December 2002 - Negotiators from some 140 governments have adopted a $573 million funding package to halve the consumption and production in developing countries of CFCs - the leading destroyer of the stratospheric ozone layer - by the year 2005 (relative to a baseline of average 1995 -1997 levels).
The funds will also finance projects for reducing other substances targeted for phase-out under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Developing countries have until 2005 to cut CFCs and halons by 50%, the fumigant methyl bromide by 20%, and the solvents carbon tetrachloride and methylchloroform by 85% and 30%, respectively.
"Eliminating CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances in developing countries is the top priority today for the global campaign to return our protective ozone layer to health," said Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. "This agreement demonstrates just how much the world's governments can achieve when they collaborate with one another in good faith to tackle a common challenge. The partnership between developed and developing countries must remain strong for many years to come, however, if the ozone layer is indeed to make a full recovery" he said.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol requires developing countries to continue reducing CFCs and halons by a total of 85% by the year 2007 and to phase them out completely by 2010; they also have until 2015 to phase out methyl bromide.
Developed countries phased out virtually all of their CFCs by 1996. The funding levels agreed today - the highest ever - will replenish the Protocol's Multilateral Fund for the 2003 - 2005 period. The funding includes $474 million in new contributions, $76 million in earlier contributions that were not allocated during the 2000 - 2002 period, and $23 million from interest earnings and other sources.
Last week, the Fund's Executive Committee also met in Rome and approved the expenditure of $82 million for new projects. These projects will eliminate the consumption of some 9,000 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances and the production of 2,000 tonnes.
This will bring the total amount to be eliminated through Fund-supported projects in 125 developing countries to 226,000 tonnes. The newly approved projects will complete the phase-out of CFC consumption in industrial processes in Nigeria and the Philippines as well as in Indonesia's refrigeration industry. They will also end all CFC production in Argentina and most of China's production and consumption of carbon tetrachoride.
The Fund has dispersed some $1.5 billion of the $1.6 billion approved in previous replenishments on projects and activities in developing countries since 1991. The 14th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and the 6th Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (which meets every three years and is the framework treaty under which the Protocol was negotiated) was held from 25 - 29 November.
CFCs have been widely used since the 1930s in refrigerators, air conditioners, foams and other applications; they remain in the atmosphere for decades or even centuries. Halons are primarily used in fire extinguishers. Together with other chemicals, they destroy ozone molecules in the stratosphere that protect all living things from ultra-violet radiation.
Exposure to UV-C and to too much UV-B can cause more melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, more eye cataracts, weakened immune systems, reduced plant yields, damage to ocean eco-systems and reduced fishing yields, adverse effects on animals, and more damage to plastics.
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Official documents and other information materials are posted at www.unep.org/ozone/. See also www.unmfs.org and www.uneptie.org/ozonaction.
UNEP News Release 2002/87