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Who’s batty?

April 16th, 2010

Those who wish to continue using methyl bromide?

Or all 196 members of the United Nations who signed up to the 1987 Montreal Protocol – one of the first and most successful multi-lateral environmental agreements – which commits to protecting the ozone layer from the damage caused by certain industrial chemicals?

The ban on methyl bromide referred to in some papers today as affecting cricket bat manufacturers might be implemented by EU legislation, but this substance is subject to an international agreement, signed by the UK. This ban would be largely in force even if the UK wasn’t a member of the EU.

Only by ending the production and use of ozone depleting substances is the ozone layer, which protects life on earth from harmful UV-B radiation, expected to return to normal levels from 2050 onwards.

Update 16.45 We are looking into whether there is some impact of EU legislation going further than the international ban. The UK government has said:

“The ban on the use of methyl bromide anywhere in the EU was published on 26 September 2008 and has been well publicised by a number of UK government departments so that industry has had that time to make alternative arrangements. However, we are not unsympathetic to the situation facing the companies concerned, and are doing all we can to help them quickly find and use alternative treatments that will satisfy Indian Government requirements.”

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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