New Delhi: With the 30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer opening in Ecuador on Monday, an environmental group urged it to act fast to curb ozone-depleting gas trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11. It cautioned not to treat the issue of its illegal trade as an isolated enforcement issue limited to one country. The gas not only destroys ozone layer but also contributes to global warming. In May, scientists revealed that atmospheric levels of CFC-11, banned globally since 2010, were significantly higher than expected, indicating new illegal production and use of CFC-11 occurring in East Asia.
A new Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) update, “Tip of the Iceberg: Implications of Illegal CFC Production and Use”, provides compelling evidence potentially linking elevated levels of another ODS, carbon tetrachloride, to the illegal production of CFC-11, and suggests that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This report also released new independent laboratory test results that clearly confirm the use of CFC-11 in three enterprises in China previously identified by EIA, reinforcing the credibility of their statements that CFC-11 was the predominant blowing agent used at these facilities. The scale and impact of the illegal trade demonstrate that the Montreal Protocol’s current compliance and enforcement regime is not fit-for-purpose and requires modernization, said EIA. (IANS)