EU and developing countries oppose US requests on increased use of ozone harming pesticide

No consensus could be reached on granting the US
exemptions from the requirement to phase out methyl bromide
during the UN conference on the Montreal Protocol (MOP-15) held
in Nairobi (Kenya) from 10-14 November 2003.

The most contentious issues on the
agenda was the phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide.
(See 
EURACTIV, 11
November 2003

The American delegation had sought
broad exemptions to the 2005 ban on methyl bromide
claiming that no safe, effective and economically viable
alternatives currently exist.

European and developing country negotiators refused to
agree to the exemptions. As no consensus could be reached
on whether exemptions, and if so, to what extent, should
be granted to the US, delegates agree to solve this issue
during an extraordinary meeting in Montreal in March
2004.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director,
said: "Unfortunately and despite a great deal of
discussion, governments could not find consensus on this
complex issue at this week's meeting. They felt they
needed more time to find an agreement which balances the
interests of farmers and other users of methyl bromide with
international agreements to repair the Earth's
protective shield." 

 

From 10-14 November, representatives of around
180 countries met in Nairobi, Kenya for the 15th meeting of
the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol
is the United Nations Treaty on substances that deplete the
ozone layer. It has been signed by 183 countries, including
the European Union and the United States. 

 

UNEP will host an 'extraordinary
meeting' in Montreal (Canada) in March 2004 to decide
on exemptions from a total phasing out of methyl
bromide. 

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