Action promised to stop CFC11 use
The delegates to last week’s Montreal Protocol meeting have promised “a sweeping response” to evidence of a rise in CFC11 emissions.
Recent news that emissions of CFC11, an ozone-depleting gas once used as a refrigerant and blowing agent, have been increasing since 2012 was high on the agenda of the 40th Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Montreal Protocol meeting in Vienna.
Opening the meeting, Tina Birmpili, executive secretary of UN Environment’s Ozone Secretariat, said: “It is in these moments that the mechanisms of the international community are more valuable than ever. We cannot relax our vigilance for a second. We cannot let this go unaddressed. Any illegal consumption and production of CFC11 demands decisive action.”
The rise in CFC11 emissions were first uncovered by members of the Montreal Protocol’s Scientific Assessment Panel and published in Nature. Prior to the meeting the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released evidence that the polyurethane foam sector in China was the source.
Despite this, the parties at the meeting insisted that the exact sources of these emissions have yet to be fully verified and accounted for. However, the parties called for an urgent response based on a full review of the latest findings, with delegates unanimously agreeing to definitively quantify, locate and halt these emissions.
The call for “a sweeping response” identified the need for the Scientific Assessment Panel to report on the unexpected increase of CFC11 emissions, including additional information regarding atmospheric monitoring and modelling with respect to such emissions.
The Protocols’s Technology and Economic Assessment panel (TEAP) was also asked to provide the parties with information on potential sources of emissions of CFC11 and related controlled substances from potential production and uses, as well as from banks, that may have resulted in emissions of CFC11 in unexpected quantities in the relevant regions.
A deadline for all parties to submit relevant scientific and technical information on related emissions monitoring was set for March 1, 2019.
Other key issues addressed by this body included an assessment of opportunities to enhance energy efficiency in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector while phasing down HFCs and implementation of the Kigali Amendment including destruction technologies for controlled substances and data reporting.
The 30th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 30) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is scheduled to convene from 5-9 November 2018.