A new environmental conflict between the US and the EU is looming over the 15th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-15) held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 10-14 November 2003.
In Nairobi, the Bush government will try to find support for broad exemptions to the 2005 ban on methyl bromide. The US government is under considerable pressure from its farmers and the chemical producers to seek exemptions. American officials and farmers say that the alternatives to the use of methyl bromide are either untested or too expensive. The U.S. government has introduced a request for a two-year exemption with a 39 per cent of its baseline consumption in 2005 and 37 per cent in 2006. It requested these exemptions for certain crops where it believes “no safe, effective and economically viable alternatives” exist.
The European Union opposes exemptions to the ban, saying that there are enough substitute chemicals available and that the American request could endanger the progress achieved on reducing the ozone layer depletion.