§ Mr. Pike
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the latest information he has on the phasing out of the use of chlorofluorocarbons; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what proposals Her Majesty's Government have to speed up the phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maclean
The fourth meeting of parties to the Montreal protocol agreed on 25 November in Copenhagen to phase out CFCs by 1 January 1996, with an interim cut of 75 per cent. by 1 January 1994. It also agreed to freeze HCFC consumption from 1 January 1995 at a level of 3.1 per cent. of 11989 CFC consumption plus HCFC consumption in that year. This freeze will be followed by a 35 per cent. cut of that level by 1 January 2004; a 65 per cent. cut by 2010; a 90 per cent. cut by 2015; a 99.5 per cent. cut by 1 January 2020; and phase-out by 2030. A legal framework for control of applications of HCFCs was also agreed. The meeting also agreed to phase out carbon tetrachloride by 1 January 1996 with a 50 per cent. cut by 1 January 1995; methyl chloroform by 1 January 1996 with a 50 per cent. cut by 1 January 1994; and halons by 1 January 1994. Methyl bromide will be frozen at 1991 levels by 1 January 1995.
This agreement is good news for the ozone layer and, indeed, good news for the environment more generally. Industry has been given a clear signal. On CFCs and halons, companies which make or use refrigerators, solvents, air-conditioning and fire-fighting equipment must move fast, as the new controls will have a major impact in only 13 months time. I intend to take steps to ensure that the industry is aware of what needs to be done.890W
§ Mr. Maclean
Under the Montreal protocol as revised in Copenhagen this week, any essential use exemption for CFCs can be granted only on the basis of agreement by the parties to the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, at its meeting in 1994.