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Accelerated Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Chemicals

[EPA press release - November 25, 1992]

Today in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol took significant action to protect the earth's stratospheric ozone layer by greatly strengthening the provisions controlling ozone-depleting chemicals.

The revisions to the Protocol, last amended in London in 1990, accelerated the phaseout date for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform from 2000 to the end of 1995, mirroring the domestic commitment made by President Bush in Feb. 1992. The Parties also accelerated the phaseout of halons to the end of 1993; added controls on hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), limiting their overall use with a reduction in 1994 and virtually phasing them out completely by 2020; and took action on methyl bromide, agreeing to freeze production at 1991 levels in 1995. HCFCs and HBFCs are regarded as transitional substances in the move away from CFCs and halons. Methyl bromide is a broad spectrum biocide used in agriculture.

William K. Reilly, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and head of the U.S. delegation, said, "Destruction of the ozone layer will be arrested, steadily, uniformly, and surely as a result of decisions reached in Copenhagen today, and a vital planetary support system will be stabilized earlier. We have kept to the ambitious course we set two years ago in phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals and assured sufficient funding for developing countries to be able to do so without disrupting their economies. We are proud of the leadership role played by the United States on protection of the ozone layer, and very pleased that many of our positions on phaseout schedules and funding have been accepted.

The Parties to the Protocol fulfilled their commitment made in London in 1990 to establish a financial mechanism to support the compliance of developing countries with the Provisions of the Protocol. The Multilateral Fund's budget for 1993 was agreed to be $113 million, with 1994-1996 funding estimated to be between $350 million and $500 million. The United States will serve as the chair of the Fund's Executive Committee in 1993.