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Proposal Details

Proposal ID819
Proposal2016 Platform Amendment Proposal: Ozone Depletion
PresenterPlatform Committee, sponsored by GPUS Platform Committee
Floor ManagerJan Martell
PhaseClosed
Discussion04/18/2016 - 05/01/2016
Voting05/02/2016 - 05/08/2016
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum48 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes

Background

The current paragraph on ozone destroying chemicals in the GPUS Platform needs to be updated, as it does not reflect updates to the 1987 Montreal Protocol or recent issues surrounding substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were phased out under the treaty, and other threats to the ozone layer. In addition, some replacements to CFCs are highly potent greenhouse gases.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol called for the phase-out of production of CFCs and some other chemicals that were harming the ozone layer. CFCs were also highly potent greenhouse gases. Developing nations were given until 2010 to phase out production
The initial replacements for CFCs were hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). HCFCs also posed a danger to the ozone layer, but much less than CFCs. HCFCs were also highly potent greenhouse gases. Rapidly increasing production of HCFCs led to a revision of the Montreal Protocol in 2007 that set phase-out deadlines for the production of HCFCs. HCFC production was to be reduced 90 percent by 2015 and 100 percent by 2030.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), another replacement for CFCs, do not pose a threat to the ozone layer, but some are also highly potent greenhouse gases. Their rapidly increasing production threatens to significantly increase the warming caused by carbon dioxide. Recently new calls have been made to revise the Montreal Protocols again to phase out dangerous HFCs.
A new problem comes from recently identified “very short lived substances” (VSLSs) whose presence is growing rapidly in the atmosphere. The most significant human generated VSLS that has been identified is dichloromethane, which is used in a range of industrial processes. Scientists warn that the destruction of the ozone layer caused by VSLSs may offset gains made by the Montreal Protocol.

Proposal

PROPOSAL:
To amend Chapter II. Ecological Sustainability
F. Clean Air and Ozone Depletion

Current language of plank that is being addressed:
Earth’s atmosphere is in great danger due to man-made chemicals and hydrocarbon emissions. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other related ozone-depleting substances should be banned as soon as possible.

Proposed amendment of the current language:

GPUS recognizes the positive contributions for controlling ozone-destroying substances that have been made by the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and subsequent amendments thereto. Problems still exist, however. Some of the chemical replacements for CFCs also damage the ozone layer or are potent greenhouse gases. These include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Very Short-Lived Substances (VSLS) such as dichloromethane and other chlorine gases.

GPUS supports further research on the damaging effects of VSLS on the ozone layer and finding replacements for those causing destruction of ozone, and immediately phasing out their use. We call for updated amendments to the Montreal Protocol to keep it consistent with current scientific findings regarding threats to the ozone layer.

Resources

Approval of this proposal will amend the 2016 Draft Platform, which will be approved by the GPUS 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention and published on the GPUS website in or before September, 2016.

References

http://climateobserver.org/eu-proposes-amendments-to-montreal-protocol-for-global-phase-down-of-hfcs/

“Scientists alarmed about short–lived ozone-depleting gases,” http://wwwabc.net.au/environment/articles/201502/17/4181729.htm

“Top 5 Reasons to Phase Down HFCs in the Montreal Protocol” http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2013/10/23/77798/top-5-reasons-to-phase-down-hfcs-in-the-montreal-protocol/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/02/16/ozone-layer-depletion/23494063/

CONTACT:
Platform Committee
Bruce Hinkforth, co-chair, bhinkforth@milwpc.com, 262-569-1370
Budd Dickinson, co-chair, budd.dickinson@gmail.com, 650-773-0438
Linda Cree, co-author and Platform Committee contact, creelinda@hotmail.com
Tim Willard, co-author and Platform Committee contact, dravidic@yahoo.com


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