EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks

EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks

Washington D.C. – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.

Responding to this new paper, Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA Climate Campaign Lead said:

“Despite the success of Montreal Protocol in phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-damaging refrigerants, a significant amount of these gases are still found in banks of refrigeration equipment and insulation foams and are leaking out into the atmosphere, contributing to ozone depletion and climate change. This paper quantifies that we already lost the opportunity to prevent 25 billion metric tons CO2e by not destroying CFC banks beginning in the year 2000. It would be unconscionable to repeat this mistake at a time our planet can ill afford. The climate crisis we are in today demands urgent global action ensuring that we search, reuse and destroy any of these potent gases before they leak into our atmosphere.”

EIA investigations exposing massive illegal use of potent ODS CFC-11 in China’s polyurethane (PU) foam insulation sector, also pointed to significant new banks of CFC-11 that need to be addressed. Given lack of adequate action at the Montreal Protocol on addressing banks, EIA US launched Search, Reuse and Destroy: Initiating Global Discussion to Act on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem highlighting the need for a comprehensive international framework accompanied by strong national regulations and sustainable financing mechanisms, at the last Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol. This new Nature paper supports these findings about illegal production, banks and emissions of CFC-11 and also raises questions about another banned ozone-destroying chemical, CFC-113.

“The paper demonstrates that the Montreal Protocol can no longer turn a blind eye and must address the urgent unfinished business of dealing with the sources of these banks, including feedstocks, to ensure the complete recovery of our fragile ozone layer,” added Avipsa.


-‘Banks’ refer to CFCs still contained in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, chemical stockpiles, foams and other products. Unless sustainably managed and properly disposed, these gases which are potent climate pollutants in addition to being ozone damaging, will be emitted into the atmosphere, further exacerbating the climate crisis.

-The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a Washington DC-based Non-Governmental Organization that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste and trade in climate- and ozone-altering chemicals.


Avipsa Mahapatra: [email protected] +1 347-931-0129, @avipsa_m

Lindsay Moran: [email protected] @eia_environment