Production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (CSI 006/CLIM 049) - Assessment published Jan 2009
Climate change (Primary topic)
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
- CSI 006
- CLIM 049
Key policy question: Are ozone-depleting substances being phased out according to the agreed schedule?
Implementation of the Montreal Protocol has led to a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in the lower atmosphere and in the stratosphere. The total production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in EEA member countries has decreased strongly since the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, and it is practically zero nowadays. However, the ozone hole expanded in 2008 to 27 million square kilometres, equivalent to about 6 times the territory of the EU.
Production of ozone depleting substances in EEA member countries, 1986-2007
Note: Some of the calculated production or consumption figures may be negative
Consumption of ozone depleting substances (EU-27), 1986-2007
Note: Consumption is defined as production plus imports minus exports of controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol
For EEA member countries as a whole, consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances has gone down markedly, particularly in the first half of the 1990s. Before the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, the production of ODSs in the EEA stood at about 516616 ODP (i.e. ozone depletion potential) tonnes. In 2006, production was down to 114 OPD tonnes, and in 2007 it was actually negative. Negative numbers are possible because 'production' is defined under Article 1(5) of the Montreal Protocol as production minus the amount destroyed minus the amount entirely used as feedstock in the manufacture of other chemicals. Therefore, calculated production may be negative if destroyed amounts and/or feedstocks (e.g. from a carry-over stock) exceed production. Consumption is defined as production plus imports minus exports of controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol. As with calculated production, the consumption of ODS can be negative. The consumption of ODPs in EEA member countries fell from 406,320 in 1986 to -5 461 in 2007 (see charts).
Globally, the 2006 UNEP Synthesis Assessment under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer showed there is clear evidence of a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in the lower atmosphere and in the stratosphere; as well as some early signs of an onset of the expected stratospheric ozone recovery.
UNEP's Synthesis Assessment is supported by the three 2006 Assessment Panel Reports (i.e. Scientific Panel, Environmental Effects Panel and Technology and Economic Panel). The Panels are the pillars of the ozone protection regime since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 (i.e. the UNEP treaty to protect the Earth's ozone layer). According to the conclusions from the Panels, there are a number of options available to return to the pre-1980 levels (the period used as benchmark for the global ozone layer recovery). These include: 1) accelerated phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and tighter control of methyl bromide applications and 2) immediate collection and destruction, in order of importance, of halons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and HCFCs.
There are also links between ozone depletion and climate change. According to the 'Environmental Effects' Panel of the 2006 UNEP's Scientific Assessment under the Montreal Protocol, ozone depletion also influences climate change since both ozone and the compounds responsible for its depletion are active greenhouse gases. Yet, warming due to ODSs and cooling associated with ozone depletion are two distinct climate forcing mechanisms that do not simply offset one another. The Panel concludes that bromine gases contribute much more to cooling than to warming, whereas CFCs and HCFCs contribute more to warming than to cooling. HFCs and PFCs contribute only to warming.
International efforts to safeguard the earth's climate (UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol) and protect the ozone layer (Montreal Protocol) can be mutually supportive. HCFCs both damage the ozone layer (although less than CFCs) and contribute to global warming. They were planned as interim substitutes and were due to be phased out in 2030 by developed countries and in 2040 by developing ones. However, HCFC concentrations continue to increase in the atmosphere. In 2007, governments from developed and developing countries agreed to freeze production of HCFCs in developing countries by 2013 and bring forward the final phase-out date of these chemicals by ten years in both developed and developing countries (Montreal/Nairobi, 22 September 2007). This can be seen as a historic agreement to tackle the challenges of protecting the ozone layer and combating climate change at the same time.
It is worth noting that according to UNEP's 2006 Assessment, there exist technically and economically feasible substitutes for almost all ODS applications.
Some other key findings of UNEPs' 2006 assessment were:
- Polar ozone loss will remain large and highly variable in the coming decades, and the Antarctic ozone hole will persist longer than previously estimated.
- Failure to continue to comply with the Montreal Protocol could delay or even prevent the recovery of the ozone layer.
- UV-B radiation influences living organisms, ecosystems, and materials. In human populations it can cause severe damage to the eyes, skin cancers, and suppressions of the immune system.
- The projected recovery of the ozone layer is sensitive to future levels of greenhouse gases and the associated changes in climate.
- Climate change will influence the exposure of all living organisms to UV-B radiation via changes in cloudiness, precipitation, and ice cover.
At the EU level, the European Commission presented a proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The proposal removes obsolete provisions and procedures, streamlines reporting obligations and brings forward the production phase-out of HCFCs from 2025 to 2020. It also introduces amendments to enforce and prevent the illegal trade or use of ODS in the EU. Moreover, the proposal tightens current provisions on the recovery and destruction of ODS contained in products and equipment (ODS banks). There is also a list of new substances for which production and import volumes have to be reported. Finally, the proposal lowers the existing cap on the use of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment and ensures a complete phase-out of such uses by 2015, while making the available recapture technologies mandatory in the meantime.
Finally, the latest research from scientists from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) shows the ozone hole over Antarctica has expanded in 2008 compared to 2007. The ozone hole was measured in October 2008 by the SCIAMACHY atmospheric sensor onboard ESA's ENVISAT. The size reached about 27 million square kilometres. This is roughly equivalent to 6 times the territory of the European Union.
Ozone depleting substances data (UNEP - Ozone Secretariat)
provided by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoPeder Gabrielsen
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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