World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Rich Seek Exemption Ozone-Destroying Pesticide Ban

13 Rich Countries Seek Exemption From Ban On Ozone-Destroying Pesticide - UN

Thirteen developed countries will ask for transitional exemptions to the ban on the ozone-destroying and highly toxic pesticide methyl bromide as delegates gather for a three-day United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meeting starting tomorrow in Montreal, Canada.

At the talks on the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the requests to employ methyl bromide for "certain critical uses" after the phase-out date of 1 January 2005 for industrialized countries will come from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, UNEP said.

"Granting limited exemptions to the (Montreal) Protocol's increasingly strict controls will ensure that the transition to ozone-friendly solutions does not cause farmers and other users of methyl bromide undue economic pain," UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said today.

Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant for high-value crops, for pest control and for the quarantine treatment of agricultural commodity exports, UNEP said. Meanwhile, any destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer allows ultra-violet-C (UV-C) and increased levels of UV-B radiation to reach the Earth's surface.

Possible dangers to human beings from UVs include more melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, more eye cataracts and weakened immune systems, according to UNEP. Risks to animal and plant life include reduced plant yields, injury to ocean ecosystems and reduced fishing yields, adverse general effects on animals and damage to plastics.

The requests for exemptions from the 13 countries total some 17,000 tons. Of this amount, the UNEP Technology and Economics Assessment Panel (TEAP) is recommending approval of 12,900 tons. The Parties to the Protocol met last November in Nairobi, Kenya, to consider the exemptions, but were unable to finalize a list.

In 1997 total world consumption was 37,640 tons, of which 75 per cent was used in the developed countries. The figure dropped to 15,073 tons in 2002, about half of which was used by the developed countries, UNEP said.

The agency predicts that the ozone layer will return to normalcy in about 50 years, but only if the Montreal Protocol's phase-out schedules are fully respected.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news