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The Montreal Protocol
The first ever international agreement to regulate substances that deplete the ozone layer was signed in 1987. It has since been ratified by 196 countries. The aim is to phase out various substances with ozone-depleting potential (ODP) including CFCs and HCFCs. These were commonly used as propellants or in refrigeration, air conditioning and foam blowing applications. The phase-out timetable varies according to product and geographic region.
CFCs used to be the largest contributor to ozone depletion. As of 2010, the use of CFCs is extremely restricted in all 196 countries. HCFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer, generally with an ODP of between 5% and 10% of the CFC potential. However, the Montreal Protocol requires the complete phase-out of HCFCs globally by 2040.
Legislation restricting the production, sale and use of HCFCs is already commonplace in many countries. Quotas aimed at gradually restricting the use of these products are in place in many countries, including the US, Canada and Australia. A more aggressive timetable exists within the EU.
|Non EU countries: HCFC legislation, including customer options||HCFC Phase-Out Legislation|
|EU countries: HCFC Phase-out and customer options||EU HCFC Phase-Out Legislation|