West to pay Russia to close down ozone depleting plants

The World Bank has signed an agreement providing funds with the Government of the world’s largest ozone-depleting economy, Russia.


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The World Bank signed a US$26.2 million Grant Agreement on 25 October with the Government of Russia which has 47% of the world’s latent ozone depleting substances (ODS) production capacity. The money will assist the Russian Federation achieve compliance with its international obligations to eliminate ODSs by closing down production facilities of the last remaining Russian enterprises which have the capacity to produce them.

The grant has been funded by direct contributions from the governments of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus US$8.5 million from the Global Environmental Facility.

Most of the money will compensate seven ODS producing enterprises which account for Russia’s potential ODS output of approximately 140,000 metric tonnes annually. It will also finance the monitoring of the closure activities by Russian and international experts. It also provides for technical assistance to various government agencies to further refine and enforce the legal, regulatory and institutional framework of the operation on an ongoing basis.

The World Bank says that the Russian Federation’s commitment to the enterprises closure and a Government resolution banning ODS production from 20 December this year represent “a significant contribution to the global commitment to protect the ozone layer”. The bank also sees its initiative as “a model for its increasingly important role as a vehicle for the mobilisation of donor resources to address global environmental issues”.

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