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EEA Report Highlights EU Progress in Phasing Out ODS

EEA5 December 2012: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released an “Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) 2011 Summary” report, which highlights progress in phasing out ODS in Europe. The report provides aggregated data reported by European companies on the production, import, export, destruction and use of ODS in the EU.

The EU phased out ODS consumption in 2010, ten years ahead of the schedule agreed upon under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol), which is part of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

The report documents declining consumption, production, import and export of ODS. Since 2006, ODS production has declined, except for a partial increase in 2010. ODS imports also declined since 2006, except for an increase between 2010 and 2011. EU imports come from China, India, Israel and the US. The EU imported the largest quantities of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), methyl bromide (MB), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and bromochloromethane (BCM). ODS exports have decreased an average of 27% every year since 2006. The report further indicates that 189 companies reported ODS activities and 104 companies reported that they had no ODS activities in 2011.

Feedstock use is the one area in which the EU's use of ODS is increasing, mainly from carbon tetrachloride (CTC) use. Feedstock use, the reported quantities of substances fed into the process cycle minus the quantities feedstock users send for destruction, makes up 95% of chemical production. Feedstock use is not controlled by legislation.

Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, EEA, described the Montreal Protocol as one of the most successful international environmental agreements and said “this example of global action should inspire cooperation on other global environmental problems.” The Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol have also contributed to climate change mitigation because many ODS chemicals are also greenhouse gases (GHG). The Protocol controls over 200 ODS, including CTC, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, HCFCs, hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), MB, BCM and trichloroethane (TCA). [EEA Press Release] [Publication: Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) 2011 Summary]