Production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances in Europe

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-3-en
Also known as: CLIM 049
Created 20 Dec 2019 Published 04 Feb 2020 Last modified 04 Feb 2020
11 min read
A significant reduction in the consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has been achieved by the EEA-33 countries since 1986. This reduction has largely been driven by the 1987 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Montreal Protocol. Since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol, European consumption (EEA-28 in 1986) has fallen from approximately 343 000 ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tonnes to around zero in 2002, where it has remained ever since. The European Union (EU) has taken additional measures to reduce the consumption of ODS by means of EU law since the early 1990s. In many aspects, the current EU regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer (1005/2009/EC) goes further than the Montreal Protocol. It has also brought forward the phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the EU.

More info in the EEA report series on ozone-depleting substances (ODS) -> https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/ozone-depleting-substances-2019

Key messages

  • A significant reduction in the consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has been achieved by the EEA-33 countries since 1986. This reduction has largely been driven by the 1987 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Montreal Protocol.
  • Since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol, European consumption (EEA-28 in 1986) has fallen from approximately 343 000 ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tonnes to around zero in 2002, where it has remained ever since.
  • The European Union (EU) has taken additional measures to reduce the consumption of ODS by means of EU law since the early 1990s. In many aspects, the current EU regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer (1005/2009/EC) goes further than the Montreal Protocol. It has also brought forward the phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the EU.

Is Europe phasing out ozone-depleting substances in accordance with the agreed schedule?

Consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances (ODSs)

Chart
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

The 1987 Montreal Protocol is widely recognised as one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreements to date. Its implementation has led to a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ODS in the lower atmosphere and in the stratosphere. The schedule for the limitation and phase out of the consumption of ODS, as defined in the Montreal Protocol, is summarised in the accompanying ODS indicator specification.

The EU regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer (ODS Regulation, 1005/2009/EC), which in many aspects goes further than the Montreal Protocol, also accelerated the phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) from 2020 (as required under the Montreal Protocol) to 2015, and introduces a new-fill and a servicing ban for HCFCs. This ban is related to the placing on the market and use of non-virgin HCFCs, destined for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment, and which are prohibited in the EU. Moreover, with only a few exemptions, the prohibition of imports and exports of products and equipment containing or relying on ODS, including HCFCs, is also brought forward. It also includes a ban on the use of methyl bromide, including quarantine and pre-shipment applications.

Consumption of ODS decreased significantly in the EEA-28, particularly in the first half of the 1990s. Figure 1 shows that the EEA-28 phased out its use of ODS at a faster rate than the world average. Nowadays it is practically zero.

ODS consumption in the EEA-28 fell from approximately 343 000 ODP tonnes in 1986 to negative values in 2002. Since 2002, values have been negative, except for 2003 and 2012, when they were just above zero. The value in 2018 was -1 048 ODP tonnes.

Consumption is a parameter that gives an idea of the presence of ODS on the market and tracks the progress in phasing out these chemicals. Calculated for each calendar year, it is mainly defined as 'production plus imports minus exports' (quantities destroyed or used in certain applications like feedstock are subtracted where relevant). As such, its formula can yield a negative number when substances are produced and imported in quantities that do not compensate for the amounts exported or destroyed. This usually happens when exports or destruction take place for ODS that were previously on the market in the EEA-28 (stocks). Additionally, different substances have different ODP values. If consumption is calculated in ODP tonnes, a negative value is also obtained when production/imports take place for low-ODP substances and exports/destruction take place for high-ODP substances. The latter is the current situation due to the fact that certain high-ODP substances are produced in the EU as by-products that, in general, are stocked before being destroyed.

A closer look at individual ODS substance groups reveals that the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, 1,1,1 trichloroethane (TCA), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), bromochloromethane (BCM) and carbon tetrachloride (CTC) were implemented by the EU according to the agreed schedule under the Montreal Protocol. However, the phase out of methyl bromide (MB) took a further 3 years to be completed (due to remaining critical uses approved by the parties to the Protocol). The effects of the HCFCs freeze under the Montreal Protocol and the HCFCs new-fill ban under the ODS Regulation can also clearly be observed.

What are the remaining uses of ozone-depleting substances?

Estimated sales of ozone-depleting substances, taking into account both the scope of the Montreal Protocol and the additional substances covered by the ODS Regulation

Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Estimated sales of ozone-depleting substances that are controlled under the Montreal Protocol, broken down by use, reported emissions and calculated emission factors

Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Globally, consumption of ODS controlled under the Montreal Protocol has declined by 99.67 % worldwide in the period 1986-2018.

However, much remains to be done to ensure that the damage to the ozone layer is reverted. Initiatives to further reduce releases of ODS could involve the following:

  • Addressing the strong growth in the production and consumption of HCFCs in developing countries;
  • Collecting and safely disposing of the large quantities of ODS contained in old equipment and buildings (the so-called ODS 'banks');
  • Ensuring that restrictions on ODS continue to be properly implemented and the remaining worldwide use of ODS declines further;
  • Preventing illegal trade in ODS; and
  • Strengthening the international and European framework on ODS (e.g. inclusion of other known ODS, restricting exemptions).

In the EU-28, ODS are still used to the extent allowed by the Montreal Protocol and the EU ODS Regulation by means of exemptions to the overall phase out. Exemptions concern 'critical uses', 'feedstock uses', 'process agent uses' and 'laboratory and analytical uses'.

Figure 2 shows an estimate of the quantities of substances covered by the Montreal Protocol that are used within the EU for the above-mentioned uses as reported to the EEA (data reported in 2019 for the year 2018, coverage: EU-28).

For 'feedstock' and 'process agent use' — known to have very low emission factors (0.03 and 0.82 %, respectively) — actual emissions are also to be reported by the companies concerned. These low emission factors are one of the reasons why these two uses operate with less stringent rules under the Montreal Protocol and the EU legislation on ODS. However, given that the Montreal Protocol targets have generally been achieved for the EU-28 and worldwide, the importance of these emissions subsequently becomes more apparent. Therefore, any future changes to the rules affecting these uses could potentially result in additional environmental benefits.

The current reporting framework on ODS in the EU does not include reporting on emissions for laboratory uses or critical uses. It is also not possible to reliably estimate these emissions due to the multitude of technologies and industry-sites involved. Instead, these figures are meant to show which ODS uses are still relevant in the EU today and could be a future target of additional operational rules.

The EU has already gone beyond the rules of the Montreal Protocol to tackle some of the remaining challenges. Among these actions, as previously mentioned, the ODS Regulation introduced a new-fill ban and a servicing ban affecting HCFCs. The ODS Regulation also covers new substances in addition to those controlled under the Montreal Protocol.

Figure 3 shows the combined ODP of the substances covered by both the Montreal Protocol and the ODS Regulation. It becomes apparent that the additional substances covered by the ODS Regulation only ('new substances') are especially relevant as feedstock and industrial solvents (many 'new substances' are used for this latter purpose). The substitution of traditional ODS with these newer ones is a relatively recent trend and is closely monitored by the EEA.

Since 2012, unexpectedly high concentrations of the ozone-depleting substance trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) have been detected in the atmosphere. This suggests that production of CFC-11 has been resumed illegally in recent years, potentially delaying ozone recovery significantly. Sources of CFC-11 emissions were identified in eastern mainland China and amounted to at least 40 to 60 % of the global increase in emissions of CFC-11. Preliminary data suggest that after 2017, the emission of CFC-11 decreased again, globally and from eastern mainland China.

There is also scientific evidence that chemicals other than those covered by the Montreal Protocol and the ODS Regulation are playing a role in the depletion of ozone. In particular, very short-lived substances, such as dichloromethane, could have a negative impact. Given their uncontrolled growth of around 60 % over the last decade, they could delay ozone recovery by 30 years. Adequately managing the use and releases of other known ODS represents a challenge that will need to be addressed by the international community and the EU.

What is the current state of the ozone layer?

Maximum ozone hole extent over the southern hemisphere, from 1979 to 2019

Note: Copernicus analyses of total ozone column over the Antarctic. The blue colours indicate lowest ozone columns, while yellow and red indicate higher ozone columns. Ozone columns are commonly measured in Dobson Units. One Dobson Unit is the number of molecules of ozone that would be required to create a layer of pure ozone 0.01 millimetres thick at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 1 atmosphere. 300 DU corresponds to 3 millimetres of ozone.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Maximum ozone hole area

Chart
Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Depletion of stratospheric ozone occurs over both hemispheres of the Earth. However, this phenomenon is significantly less severe in the northern hemisphere (Arctic) than in the southern hemisphere (Antarctica). This is the case because year-to-year meteorological variability is larger over the Arctic than over the Antarctic. Furthermore, temperatures in the stratosphere do not remain low for a long time in the Arctic as is the case in the Antarctic.

Generally, concentration levels of 220 Dobson Units (DU, marked by the thick contour line in Figure 4) or less (represented in blue colours in Figure 4) are considered to show severe ozone depletion and constitute the so-called ozone hole. This is only apparent in the southern hemisphere. Here, the largest historical extent of the ozone hole — 28.4 million square kilometres (Figures 4 and 5) — occurred in September 2000. This area is equivalent to almost seven times the territory of the EU.

Overall, the ozone hole has shown signs of healing since 2000, which is predominantly attributable to phasing out ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. At the same time, the extent of the ozone hole is strongly driven by stratospheric temperature, with warmer temperatures leading to a smaller ozone hole, such as in 2019 (for more information, visit the website of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS)). However, this is not directly attributable to anthropogenic climate change, since greenhouse gases generally have a cooling effect in the stratosphere, while they contribute to global warming in the troposphere. This stratospheric cooling has a positive effect on ozone recovery with the exception of the polar regions. Here, very low temperatures can lead to an increase in the formation of polar stratospheric clouds, which facilitate ozone depletion. The ozone hole can also be periodically influenced by volcanic eruptions, increasing the stratospheric particle load and thereby depleting ozone. This partially explains those occasional years during which the ozone hole is comparatively large, e.g. 2015 (27.9 million km²).

The extent of the ozone hole seems to be stagnating and future prospects are slightly positive. Currently, the ozone hole over the southern hemisphere showed a maximum area of 9.3 million km² on 30 September 2019 (Figures 4 and 5). During the last 5 years (2015-2019), the average ozone hole area was 20.1 million km², while over the ten preceding years (2010-2019) the average value reached 21.1 million km².

However, the mitigation of ozone depletion is still very fragile and scientific evidence suggests that more action is still required to remove pressure on the ozone layer caused by ODS. 

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are long-lived chemicals that contain chlorine and/or bromine and can deplete the stratospheric ozone layer. This indicator quantifies the current state of the ozone layer, the progress being made towards meeting the EU’s Montreal Protocol commitments and trends in the remaining uses of ODS within the EU.

Context: the ozone layer refers to a region of the Earth’s atmosphere (the stratosphere) in which ozone (O3
) is present in concentrations high enough to absorb most of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This natural phenomenon is essential for life on Earth because UV radiation damages living tissue. Ozone depletion refers to the steady decline in the concentration of ozone in the stratosphere and the decrease in stratospheric ozone in the polar regions during the spring season. This has become widely known as the 'ozone hole'. This phenomenon was first observed during the 1970s, when it was shown that the ozone hole was caused by complex chemical reactions in the atmosphere involving so-called ODS, which are almost exclusively a result of human industrial activity.

Units

Depending on the metric involved, this indicator uses the annual maximum Antarctic ozone hole area in square kilometres (km2) and ODS consumption weighted by the ODP of the substances in ODP tonnes.


Policy context and targets

Context description

The 1987 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Montreal Protocol is widely recognised as one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreements to date. Its implementation has led to a global decrease in the impact of ODS on the atmosphere. The agreement covers the phase-out of over 200 individual ODS including CFCs, halons, CTC, TCA, HCFCs, HBFCs, BCM and MB. The Montreal Protocol controls the consumption and production of these substances, not their emissions.

Following the signing of the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments and adjustments, policy measures have been taken to limit or phase out the production and consumption of ODS to protect the stratospheric ozone layer against depletion. This indicator tracks the progress of EU Member States towards this limiting or phasing out ODS consumption.

For the EU, the ratification dates were the following:

Treaty

Date of ratification

Vienna Convention

 17 October 1988

Montreal Protocol

 16 December 1988

London Amendment

 20 December 1991

Copenhagen Amendment

 20 November 1995

Montreal Amendment

 17 November 2000

Beijing Amendment

 25 March 2002

EEA member countries have made tremendous progress in reducing the consumption and production of ODS since the signing of the Montreal Protocol. In that time, ODS production has fallen from over half a million ODP tonnes to practically zero, not including production for exempted uses. Since 2009, EEA member countries have also been subject to the more stringent EU ODS Regulation (1005/2009/EC as amended by 744/2010/EU), which applies to additional substances and accelerates the phase-out of remaining ODS in the EU.

Targets

The international target under the ozone conventions and protocols is the complete phase-out of ODS, according to the schedule below.

Countries falling under Article 5, paragraph 1, of the Montreal Protocol are considered developing countries under the protocol. Phase-out schedules for Article 5(1) countries are delayed by 10-20 years compared with non-Article 5(1) countries.

Montreal ProtocolEEA member country
Article 5(1)  Turkey
Non-Article 5(1) All other EEA member countries

 

A summary of the phase-out schedule for non-Article 5(1) countries, including Beijing adjustments, is shown in the table below.

GroupPhase-out schedule for non-article 5(1) countriesRemark

Annex A, group 1: CFCs (CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113, CFC-114, CFC-115)

Base level: 1986

100 % reduction by 1 January 1996 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex A, group 2: halons (halon 1211, halon 1301, halon 2402)

Base level: 1986

100 % reduction by 1 January 1994 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex B, group 1: other fully halogenated CFCs (CFC-13, CFC-111, CFC-112, CFC-211, CFC-212, CFC-213, CFC-214, CFC-215, CFC-216, CFC-217)

Base level: 1989

100 % reduction by 1 January 1996 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex B, group 2: carbontetrachloride (CCl4)

Base level: 1989

100 % reduction by 1 January 1996 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex B, group 3: 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3) (= methyl chloroform)

Base level: 1989

100 % reduction by 1 January 1996 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex C, group 1: HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons)

Base level: 1989 HCFC consumption + 2.8 % of 1989 CFC consumption

Freeze: 1996

35 % reduction by 1 January 2004

65 % reduction by 1 January 2010

90 % reduction by 1 January 2015

99.5 % reduction by 1 January 2020, and thereafter consumption restricted to the servicing of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment existing at that date

100 % reduction by 1 January 2030

Applicable to consumption

 Annex C, group 1: HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons)

Base level: average of 1989 HCFC production + 2.8 % of 1989 CFC production and 1989 HCFC consumption + 2.8 % of 1989 CFC consumption

Freeze: 1 January 2004, at the base level for production

Applicable to production

Annex C, group 2: HBFCs (hydrobromofluorocarbons)

Base level: year not specified

100 % reduction by 1 January 1996 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex C, group 3: bromochloromethane (CH2BrCl)

Base level: year not specified

100 % reduction by 1 January 2002 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Annex E, group 1: methyl bromide (CH3Br)

Base level: 1991

Freeze: 1 January 1995

25 % reduction by 1 January 1999

50 % reduction by 1 January 2001

75 % reduction by 1 January 2003

100 % reduction by 1 January 2005 (with possible essential use exemptions)

Applicable to production and consumption

Related policy documents

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Maximum ozone hole area

This indicator presents the maximum ozone hole area in km2. The ozone hole area is determined from total ozone satellite measurements. It is defined as the region of ozone with values of below 220 DU located south of 40 °S. The maximum ozone hole area is provided in km2 by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS - https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/).

Consumption of ozone-depleting substances 

The indicator presents ODS consumption in units of tonnes of ODS, which is the amount of ODS consumed, multiplied by their respective ODP value. UNEP Ozone Secretariat data are already provided in ODP tonnes. All data can be downloaded from https://ozone.unep.org/countries/data-table.

Formulae for calculating consumption are defined by Articles 1 and 3 of the Montreal Protocol and can be accessed here: https://ozone.unep.org/.

Simply put, consumption is defined as production plus imports minus exports. Amounts destroyed or used as feedstock are subtracted from production. Amounts of MB used for quarantine and pre-shipment applications are excluded. Exports to non-parties are included, but are not allowed.

Parties report each of the above components annually to the Ozone Secretariat in official data reporting forms. The parties do not, however, make the above subtractions and other calculations themselves. The Ozone Secretariat performs this task itself.

Remaining uses of ozone-depleting substances in EU Member States

This indicator presents reported sales of ODS on the European market and reported production in ODP tonnes (see above). These data are reported annually to the EEA by companies under the EU ODS Regulation (1005/2009/EC) and treated as confidential. Data represented here were reported by at least three company groups that each contributed at least 5 % of the total reported amount.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling takes place.

Methodology references

  • Handbook for the International Treaties for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Thirteenth edition, 2019) UNEP, 2019 ( September 2019  specific URL: https://ozone.unep.org/treaties/montreal-protocol  -> https://ozone.unep.org/sites/default/files/2019-08/MP_Handbook_2019_1.pdf )
  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer  as either adjusted and/or amended in London 1990, Copenhagen 1992, Vienna 1995, Montreal 1997, Beijing 1999. UNEP Ozone Secretariat United Nations Environment Programme (September 2019 specific URL:  https://ozone.unep.org/treaties/montreal-protocol  -> Text of the Montreal Protocol as adjusted in 2018 – subject to entry into force on 21 June 2019 -> https://ozone.unep.org/sites/default/files/2019-04/MP-consolidated-English-2019.pdf )

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

Policies focus on the production and consumption of ODS rather than emissions, which are what actually harm the ozone layer. The reason is that emissions from multiple small sources are much more difficult to monitor accurately than industrial production and consumption. Consumption is the driver of industrial production. Production and consumption can precede emissions by many years, as emissions typically take place after the disposal of products in which ODS are used (fire extinguishers, refrigerators, etc.). The same is true for sales of ODS for certain uses and their actual use.

Data sets uncertainty

Data provided by the Ozone Secretariat and the EEA ozone database (ODB) are based on reporting from companies that produce, import, export, use or destroy ODS. A number of rigorous quality checks ensure a high degree of completeness and correctness. The quality of the data ultimately remains the responsibility of each reporting company.

Omissions and double-counting are theoretically possible because of the nature of the reporting obligation under the EU ODS Regulation. It is estimated that such uncertainties affect a negligible part of the data.

Rationale uncertainty

Policies focus on the production and consumption of ODS rather than emissions. The reason is that emissions from multiple small sources are much more difficult to monitor accurately than industrial production and consumption. Consumption is the driver of industrial production. Production and consumption can precede emissions by many years, as emissions typically take place after the disposal of products in which ODS are used (fire extinguishers, refrigerators, etc.).

Data sources

Metadata

Topics:

information.png Tags:
, , , , , , ,
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CLIM 049
Temporal coverage:

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

EEA Contact Info

Peder Gabrielsen
Document Actions