ESC Opinion: Measures to speed the phasing-out of ozone depleting substances
At its 297th Plenary Session the Economic and Social Committee adopted an Opinion on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EEC) amending Regulation (EEC) No 594/91 of 4 March 1991 in order to speed up the phasing-out of substances that deplete the ozone layer. The ESC endorses the draft Regulation, subject to certain comments, and congratulates the Commission on the inclusion of the new provisions prior to the UN meeting in Copenhagen at the end of 1992 which is to revise the 1989 Montreal Protocol. Inter alia, the ESC calls on the Commission as a party to the United Nations Environment Programme negotiations and discussions, to ensure that all other non-Community countries adopt equivalent measures. As the production and/or use of HCFCs is about to be monitored worldwide, the Commission should assign responsibility for studies involving HCFC carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and teratogenicity to a recognized European toxicology institute, such as ECETOC (European Chemical Industry, Ecology and Toxicology Centre). These activities could also be coordinated with the work of the European environment Agency. The Commission should also examine the possibility of recycling and eliminating the substances covered by this Regulation, especially fully halogenated CFCs and halons used in industrial or private installations since before the signing of the Montreal Protocol.