USD573 million to half CFCs in developing world

Representatives from 140 countries have agreed on a US$573 million funding package to halve the consumption and production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

The agreement was reached at the 14th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, in Rome, the international agreement signed in 1987 that requires countries to phase out CFCs by 2010. Developed counties phased out nearly all CFCs by 1996.

“The partnership between developed and developing countries must remain strong for many years to come if the ozone layer is indeed to make a full recovery,” said Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The new funding programme will run over the next two years, in order to reach a target of 50% of emissions relative to the baseline average from 1995 to 1997. The money – the largest amount under the Protocol, –

consists of a combination of new funding, unallocated previous funding, and interest earnings.

Recently, the fund’s executive committee approved new projects costing US$82 million. They are intended to end the consumption of around 9,000 tonnes of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and the production of 2,000 tonnes. This consists of the completion of the phase-out of CFC consumption in industrial processes in Nigeria and the Philippines, and in Indonesia’s refrigeration industry. It also includes the phasing out of CFC production in Argentina and most of China’s production and consumption of carbon tetrachloride.

This will bring the total amount to be eliminated through projects supported by the fund in 125 countries to 226,000 tonnes.

In September, the UNEP and the World Meterological Organisation announced that the ozone layer is showing good signs of recovery, following reductions of ODS under the Montreal Protocol (see related story).

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