February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1996
New restrictions on ozone depleting chemicals
emerged from the Seventh Conference of the Parties to the protocol held
in Vienna in early December. For the first time, developing countries agreed to
restrict the use of methyl bromide and HCFCs.
Developed countries will phase out production of methyl bromide by the year
2010, while production in developing countries will be frozen in 2002 at a
quantity based on average production from 1995 to 1998. These restrictions will
be reviewed in 1997, based on a report from the Technology and Economics
Advisory Panel (TEAP). The U.S. had favored a 2001 phaseout, consistent with its
Clean Air Act, and was criticized by environmental groups for not pushing harder
(Science News, p. 405, Dec. 16).
Developing countries agreed to freeze HCFCs in 2016 at the levels they are
use in 2015, then ban them by 2040. This provision will also be reviewed by the
TEAP by the year 2000.
A number of delegates were concerned that the provisions for developing
countries will encourage greater production of methyl bromide and HCFCs in the
near future. Moreover, several developing countries, including India and China,
made their adherence contingent on additional funding from developed countries.
The next conference of the parties, to be held in Costa Rica, will consider
replenishing the Multilateral Fund in 1996, but some developed countries
(including the U.S.) are already behind on their current commitments. A focus
article in New Scientist (pp. 14-15, Dec. 16, 1995) analyzes the crucial
importance of funding to the future involvement of developing countries in ozone
protection, going so far as to question the very success of the Montreal
Protocol because of this problem.
Other matters discussed in Vienna include the impending failure of Russia
and some other Eastern European countries to meet the 1996 CFC phaseout
deadline, and how to treat "process agents," ozone-depleting
substances used in chemical production that are not entirely transformed to
For reports on the conference see (all 1995) Intl. Environ. Rptr.,
pp. 935-936, Dec. 13; New Scientist, p. 7 and p. 3 (editorial), Dec. 16;
Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 3-4, Dec. 22.
The following were written before the conference, but discuss in detail the
issues at stake: Chem. Eng. News, pp. 26-27, Dec. 4 (particularly
process agents); Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 903-904, Nov. 29 (a
Greenpeace report); ibid., pp. 820-821 (process agents); Global
Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Dec. 8 (emphasizes Russian CFC phaseout).
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