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Indicator Assessment

Consumption of ozone-depleting substances

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-3-en
  Also known as: CLIM 049
Published 16 Sep 2021 Last modified 16 Sep 2021
11 min read

In 2020, the EU continued to actively phase out ozone-depleting substances (ODS), in line with its commitment under the Montreal Protocol. Data for 2020 show that consumption of ODS in the EU remained negative (-2,023 metric tonnes), meaning that more substances were destroyed or exported than were produced or imported. The EU´s consumption of these substances has been negative since 2012.

For more information and data reported by companies under the Ozone Regulation, see the online ODS data viewer.

Consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

Note: The figure shows the consumption in metric tonnes and in ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tonnes from 2006 to 2020 (EU-27 + United Kingdom). The calculation of the consumption of controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol excludes non-virgin imports and exports, substances intended for feedstock and process agent use, as well as new substances. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 31 January 2020 did not affect the production of this indicator, which refers to 2020 data. Data reported by companies from the United Kingdom are included in all analyses contained herein, unless otherwise indicated.

Data source:

In 1989, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer entered into force. Its objective is to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The protocol covers around 100 individual substances with a high ozone-depleting potential (ODP), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride (CTC), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), bromochloromethane (BCM) and methyl bromide (MB), all of which are referred to as ‘controlled substances’. Within the European Union (EU), the use of and trade in substances is regulated by Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 (known as the Ozone Regulation). The Ozone Regulation is more ambitious than the Montreal Protocol and goes further in many aspects, for instance it has a quicker phase-out schedule, covers more substances and regulates not only substances in bulk, but also those contained in products and equipment.

The EU continues to phase out ozone-depleting substances and is meeting its commitment under the Montreal Protocol. In 2020, the consumption of controlled substances remained negative and amounted to -2,023 metric tonnes, down from -387 metric tonnes in 2019. The consumption of controlled substances, when expressed in metric tonnes, was largely driven by consumption of CTC, HCFCs and CFCs. Expressed in ODP tonnes, consumption in 2020 was also below zero and amounted to -2,043 ODP tonnes, down from 61 ODP tonnes in 2019.

For more information and data reported by companies under the Ozone Regulation, see the online ODS data viewer.

Despite progress, more needs to be done. From 2012, unexpectedly high concentrations of the ODS CFC-11 were detected in the atmosphere, suggesting that its production had resumed illegally. Sources of CFC-11 accounting for 40 to 60 % of the global increase were identified in eastern mainland China, although preliminary data suggest that emissions decreased after 2017, both globally and from China. It will be important to ensure that the illegal trade in ODSs is addressed, as this could delay ozone layer recovery significantly.

It will also be important to ensure that international and European legislation is strengthened, for instance by including ODSs not covered at present. Evidence suggests that chemicals not covered play a role in depleting the ozone layer, for instance very short-lived substances, such as dichloromethane. Levels of such substances have increased, uncontrolled, by around 60 % in the past decade, which could delay ozone recovery by 30 years. 

Consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances (ODS) (EU-27 + UK and global level)

Note: The figure shows the consumption in ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tonnes from 1986 to 2020.

Data source:

Globally, consumption of ODS controlled under the Montreal Protocol declined by 98% worldwide in the period 1986-2019.

However, much remains to be done to ensure that 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-27, 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'.

Supporting information

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 and the progress being made towards meeting the EU’s Montreal Protocol commitments.

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 ozone-depleting potential (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 of 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

EU Member States 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, EU Member States 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 the remaining ODS in the EU.

Targets

The international target under the ozone conventions and protocols is the complete phase-out of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

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.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling takes place.

Methodology references

 

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 database on ozone-depleting substances 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 Ozone 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 on 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

Other info

DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CLIM 049
Frequency of updates
Updates are scheduled once per year
EEA Contact Info info@eea.europa.eu

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