According to the latest annual report on ozone-depleting substances, published on 14 September by the European Environment Agency (EEA), imports, exports and the overall consumption of chemicals harming the ozone layer decreased in the European Union in 2016. It shows moreover a continuous trend in the phasing out of such chemicals over the last decade.
The EEA report ‘Ozone-depleting substances 2016’ (available at https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/ozone-depleting-substances-2016) presents aggregated data reported by companies on the import, export, production, destruction, and use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in the European Union (EU).
Phasing out the ozone-depleting substances is considered key to protecting the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere. The ozone layer serves an important function in protecting life on Earth as it absorbs sun’s ultraviolet radiation. This radiation is harmful for the environment and humans, causing for example skin cancer.
Key findings in 2016 data, as compared to 2015 are as follows:
- EU imports of ozone-depleting substances decreased by 15%.
- EU exports of ozone-depleting substances decreased by 17%.
- EU production of ozone-depleting substances decreased by 1%.
- EU destruction of ozone-depleting substances decreased by 26%.
- EU overall consumption (= production + import – export – destruction) of ozone-depleting substances decreased by 13%.
The EEA report is published in advance of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (http://www.un.org/en/events/ozoneday/), which is marked every year on 16 September. [Source: EEA Highlight, 14 September 2017. https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/eu-companies-cut-further-the]