The European Union and Latin America have strongly opposed the exception been sought by US under the Montreal Protocol to use methyl bromide for agricultural purposes.
Methyl bromide is considered most lethal Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) as it’s molecules take seven to break down and till then depletes the ozone layer. The chemical is used as fumigant for high-value crops, pest controls, and quarantine treatment of agricultural commodities awaiting export. Total world annual consumption for controlled uses is estimated to be about 30,000 tonnes.
Under the protocol, the developed nations have to freeze use of the chemical by 2005 and developing nations by 2015. However, exemptions are given to developed countries for limited use with United Nation Environment Programme giving incentives for phasing out.
US has sought exemption to use 8,063 tonnes of the chemical which was opposed by EU, Switzerland and Latin American countries, saying that such exemption will not help in phasing out of the lethal chemical. They wanted US to take a lead in phasing out methyl bromide. The issue was being discussed till late Friday evening.
In two-day main conference, the need to have linkages between Montreal and Kyoto Protocol was also discussed. Many substances banned under Montreal Protocol are promoted under Kyoto Protocol. Countries like India and Argentina wanted that both the international protocols should achieve their objectives working in a tandem.
Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary, Montreal Protocol, said three major agreements have been reached that include determination to meet the challenges of next 10 years, working on ODS domestically and further curbs on illegal trade of ODS, which is said to be 20 times the legal trade.
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