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Proposal to regulate ozone depleting substances

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new Regulation on ozone depleting substances as an important step in the European implementation of its commitments to protect the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Ozone...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new Regulation on ozone depleting substances as an important step in the European implementation of its commitments to protect the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Ozone losses of up to 40% have been observed over Northern Europe during recent winters, leading to increased ultra-violet radiation which has harmful side effects such as skin cancer and reduced crop growth. In order to reduce future ozone depletion, which is caused by the release of certain substances into the atmosphere, the Commission seeks to ensure that the regulatory framework is completed and fully enforced.

The proposal contains the following important elements:

- The phasing out of methyl bromide by 2001, with a critical use exemption;
- A ban on all uses of HCFCs, with uses in polyurethane foams and solvents being phased out by 2003 and in new refrigeration equipment by 2001;
- Phasing out HCFC production and lowering the limit for placing them on the market;
- A ban on the use and sales of CFCs and other fully halogenated substances;
- An export licensing system for remaining trade in ozone depleting substances.
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