Issue Date: January 2, 2006
Methyl bromide exemptions reduced
At the conclusion of a weeklong meeting in Dakar, Senegal, parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer agreed on Dec. 16, 2005, to reduce the amount of methyl bromide use that is exempt from the treaty. In 2007, developed countries may use only 7,466 metric tons of the agricultural fumigant, a 44% reduction from the 13,418 metric tons allowed in 2006. The exemption for 2007 is apportioned among the U.S. (6,749 metric tons), Japan (636 metric tons), Australia (41 metric tons), and Canada (40 metric tons). The Montreal protocol, which went into effect in 1989, requires methyl bromide use to be phased out in developed countries by 2005. But it allows for exemptions when alternatives are not yet technologically and economically feasible. The parties to the protocol also agreed to a budget of $470 million to support the transition by developing countries to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free refrigerators and other ozone-safe technologies. This money will be spent during the three years from 2006 to 2008. Under the protocol, developing countries have until 2010 to phase out CFCs.
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