The first ever international agreement of its kind to regulate ozone depleting substances (ODS) was signed in 1987. It has been ratified by 196 countries. This is driving the phase out of a wide range of ODS including CFCs and HCFCs that were commonly used in applications such as Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Foam Blowing & Propellants.
The timetable of product phase out varies for different products & geographies.
CFCs were the largest contributor to ozone depletion. As of 2010, the use of CFCs is extremely restricted in all 196 geographies. HCFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer, generally with an Ozone Depletion Potential of 5 to 10% of that of CFCs. However the Montreal Protocol will also prohibit the use of these products globally by 2040.
Legislation restricting the production, sale and use of HCFCs is already commonplace in many geographies. Many geographies such as the USA, Canada & Australia are operating quotas gradually restricting the use of these products. A more aggressive timetable exists within the EU as detailed below
EU Regulation 2037/2000 on ozone depleting substances
Europe introduced controls in 2000 under EU Regulation 2037/2000 to introduce:
- Sales ban of CFCs in Europe from 2000
- Sales ban for virgin HCFCs by 2010, and recycled HCFCs by 2015
- Competence standards for refrigeration engineers
- Requirement for record keeping of refrigeration systems.
Under EU Regulations, all refrigeration and air conditioning engineers are required to be trained to a minimum standard.
Other local regulations on ozone depleting substances: