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MONTREAL PROTOCOL MUST ADAPT FAST TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL OZONE-KILLER CFCs

WASHINGTON, D.C: With the 30th Meeting of the Parties (MoP30) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer opening in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is releasing a new update on China’s CFC-11 production crisis.

Tip of the Iceberg: Implications of Illegal CFC Production and Use includes independent laboratory tests of polyurethane (PU) foam samples – provided by Chinese enterprises previously investigated by EIA – that confirm the presence of CFC-11 as a blowing agent.

Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA US Climate Campaign Lead, said: “The new lab test results corroborate statements made by these companies about using and trading in CFC-11 blowing agents. One of the companies claimed to be the largest supplier of PU foam polyols in the region and used CFC-11 in 90-95 per cent of their production.”

“EIA commends China for taking and publicizing immediate and widespread enforcement actions. Still, it is critical that all Parties not treat illegal CFC-11 trade as an isolated enforcement issue, but rather work together to holistically address the drivers of this environmental crime. There is a high likelihood that CFC-11 has already been exported in fully formulated polyols to other countries; it’s important to carry out targeted testing of foam products and raw materials to investigate the potential export of or import of CFC-11 in these products.”

EIA is urging Parties to the Montreal Protocol address a number of remaining unanswered questions, in particular the absence of comprehensive data regarding the size of current banks of CFC-11 in PU foam and other products or equipment. Clare Perry, EIA UK Climate Campaigns Leader, said: “The scale and impact of this illegal trade shows how the Montreal Protocol’s current compliance and enforcement regime is not fit-for-purpose. There has never been a greater need to make all possible reductions to greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change; the steps the Protocol takes now will either make or break its reputation as the most successful environmental treaty ever.”

In addition, a number of large seizures of CFC-12, another ozone-depleting substance (ODS), have occurred in several countries, while reclaimed CFC-12, or CFC-12 produced before the production ban, is still legally able to be sold in the US to service old systems. EIA advocates several urgent measures, including a global ban on disposable cylinders and the reporting of ODS and HFCs contained in fully formulated polyols. It further recommends that the Protocol sets up a task force to examine current and future banks of CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs.

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Media Contacts:

Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA US Climate Campaign Lead, via amahapatra at eia-global.org

Lindsay Moran, EIA US Head of Communications, via lmoran at eia-global.org +1 202 483 6621

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