Ozone-layerBELGIUM: The European chemical industry is calling on parties to next week’s Montreal Protocol meeting in Paris to reach agreement on a global phase down on HFC refrigerants.

The European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC), part of the European Chemical Industry Council, has urged Parties to the Montreal Protocol to move forward with a constructive dialogue to achieve an agreement for a global cap and reduction for HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis.

The EFCTC acknowledges that the Montreal Protocol has played a critical role in successfully controlling consumption of CFCs and HCFCs and believes it can provide the necessary expertise to effectively implement a similar system for HFCs.

In a statement, the EFCTC states: “The proposal submitted by North American countries for a cap and reduction of HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis, in our opinion forms a good initial framework for a dialogue, recognising that any final agreement needs to be realistic, balanced, flexible and fair, meeting the needs of Parties, and taking into account industrial planning timescales and the capacity of industry to invest in new lower GWP products and applications. “

The EFCTC maintains that any final agreement should focus on consumption, which determines use leading to reduced emissions. On this basis, legislative control of production would not be necessary as the consumption cap will maintain the required high level of environmental ambition. It also considers that there should be a requirement for production reporting from 2015.

“We recommend that the OEWG considers if it is appropriate to amend the proposal in such a way that developing nations commit to take on legally binding reduction targets by 2020 based upon the experiences gained during the transition to low GWP technologies.

“We believe that this approach will allow HFCs to be used for their safety and performance where appropriate, encourage innovation for the use of lower GWP alternatives and applications, but without significant disruption to the industries that use HFCs,” it says.