February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 3, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1990
MONTREAL PROTOCOL STRENGTHENED
Meeting in London in late June 1990,
parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to phase out CFCs by the year 2000,
added new restrictions on carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform, and worked
out a plan for financial and technical assistance to developing countries.
Carbon tetrachloride production will be phased out by 2000, and methyl
chloroform by 2005. Halons, used in fire extinguishers, will be phased out by
2000 with exceptions for use in aircraft and staffed computer rooms. Delegates
agreed that HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), CFC substitutes less harmful to
the ozone layer, should be covered in a separate agreement, although the
conference statement suggests their elimination in the period 2020 to 2040.
Agreement on assistance to developing nations cleared the way for delegates
from China and India to recommend that their respective countries join the
protocol, an outcome considered essential for effective control of ozone
depletion. The United States will contribute 25 percent of the fund, which will
provide $240 million over the first three years. The fund, to be controlled by a
14-member committee representing contributing and developing nations, will be
administered through the World Bank.
Greenpeace and several other environmental groups maintain that an even
stronger protocol is needed, in part to insure the rapid phase-out of HCFC
substitutes. The European Community and several other countries favored CFC
elimination by 1997, but the United States, Japan and the USSR pushed
successfully for 2000. At the conference, a report by Ivar Isaksen of Norway's
Institute of Geophysics presented evidence of a 10-percent reduction in lower
stratospheric ozone since 1967 over the middle latitudes of Europe and North
America. Another meeting to review the protocol is scheduled for 1992. For more
details see Intl. Environ. Rptr. (pp. 275-276, June 1990), New
Scientist (p. 21, July 7), and:
"Nations Approach Unity on Measure to Protect Ozone," R. Milne,
New Scientist, p. 33, June 30.
"Who Holds the Purse Strings," Nature, p. 757, June 28.
Discusses the wrangles over funding and other issues prior to the meeting.
"Scientists Report Faster Ozone Loss," P. Shabecoff, New York
Times, p. 13, June 24.
"Playing Roulette with the Atmosphere," J. Leggett, New
Scientist, p. 16, July 7. A comment by the Greenpeace Director of Science on
the eagerness of CFC producers like ICI to seek praise for substitutes that are
less damaging to the ozone layer but will contribute to global warming.
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