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## $440 million agreed for phasing out developing country CFCs$440 million agreed for phasing out developing country CFCs

Keywords: Developing countries, CFCs, Ozone layer

Officials from 129 governments have agreed on a multi-million-dollar funding package that will enable developing countries to maintain the momentum of their efforts to phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals, as required under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The agreed funding includes $440 million in new contributions plus$35,700,000 carried over from the previous period, for a total budget of $475,700,000 for the three-year period 2000-2002. This constitutes the fourth replenishment of the Protocol's Multilateral Fund, and is in addition to some$1 billion already spent by the fund since 1991 on reducing the production and use of CFCs and other harmful substances in over 110 developing countries. The funds are used to support the adoption of more ozone-friendly technologies for refrigerators, air-conditioners, and other consumer products and industrial processes.

"Phasing out CFCs in developing countries is by far the most important next step in protecting the ozone layer", said Mr K. Madhava Sarma, executive secretary of the ozone treaties. "We need to maintain this momentum and build on it if we are to ensure the eventual recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer."

Under the Protocol, developing countries are to freeze their CFC and halon emissions at average 1995-97 levels during the 12-month period that began on 1 July 1999. They must then cut back rapidly to 50 percent by the year 2005 and fully phase out by 2010. Developed countries phased out the use of these chemicals almost completely in 1996, although Russia and several others have experienced delays in meeting their deadlines.

This leaves China, the meeting's host, as the world's largest producer and consumer of CFCs and halons. Last March the Multilateral Fund's Executive Committee agreed to spend $150 million to fund the complete closure of China's CFC production facilities over the next ten years. Meeting again last week in Beijing just before this week's Montreal Protocol conference, the committee adopted a similar arrangement worth$82 million for India, the world's second largest developing-country producer and consumer of CFCs.

The protocol meeting also adopted new controls on the production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). HCFCs were developed as the first major replacement for CFCs but, while much less destructive than CFCs, they also contribute to ozone depletion. Under the protocol, they are to be phased out in developed countries by 2020 and in developing countries by 2040. The new amendment will ban trade in HCFCs with countries that have not yet ratified the protocol's 1992 Copenhagen amendment, which introduced the HCFC phase-out; this will provide an incentive to these countries to ratify as soon as possible.

It will also require developed countries to freeze the production of HCFCs in 2004 at 1989 levels (measured as the average of consumption and production levels) and developing countries to do so in 2016 with a similar baseline of 2015. Production of 15 percent above baseline will be permitted to meet the "basic domestic needs" of developing countries. In addition, the production of bromochloromethane (a recently developed ozone-depleting chemical) is to be completely phased out in all countries by 2002. The Beijing amendment will enter into force after it has been ratified by 20 governments.

Because the chemicals industry is constantly creating new products, many governments are concerned that new ozone-depleting chemicals could be created and marketed in the future. The meeting therefore asked the Scientific Assessment Panel and the Economic Assessment Panel to develop criteria for assessing the ozone-depleting potential of any new chemicals and to explore mechanisms for facilitating cooperation with the private sector on such assessments.

Several minor adjustments to the production controls for CFCs, halons, and methyl bromide were adopted, as were a number of technical decisions dealing with the use of international customs codes, data reporting, restrictions on the use of ozone-depleting substances for laboratory use, and other matters.

The meeting concluded by adopting the Beijing Declaration reaffirming the political commitment of the world's governments to accelerating the phase-out of substances that destroy the stratosphere's protective ozone layer.