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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Ozone Protection fact sheet cover

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Ozone Protection

Department of the Environment and Heritage

PDF file

The Goal

To reduce Australia’s impact on the ozone layer by maintaining Australia’s commitment to the phaseout of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), whilst also minimising the impact of synthetic greenhouse gas (SGG) replacements.

The Challenge

Ozone depletion is more pronounced in the southern latitudes. As such, Australians face a higher risk from the health effects of ozone depletion such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers and eye cataracts. Phaseout of ODS is essential to reduce our impact on the ozone layer. The phaseout of these substances is set out in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987). Australia has ratified this protocol, and has met or surpassed all of our obligations.

With the phaseout of ODS comes the need for replacements. Many replacements are now identified as SGGs, which can be particularly potent greenhouse gases that are used in a number of industrial applications or are emitted as a bi-product of industrial activities. These emissions contribute to climate change, and therefore SGGs need to be managed so as to minimise our greenhouse gas emissions.

This case study

The objectives of Australia’s approach to ODS and SGGs are to:

How did we make it happen?

The import, export and manufacture of ODS was controlled through the Ozone Protection Act 1989. Controls included licences, quotas and restrictions on trade with non-Montreal Protocol countries.

Australia has developed a National Halon Bank to manage Australia’s strategic stock of halon. Australia still requires halon for limited uses to protect human health and safety, most notably in aviation and shipping.

The Halon Bank maintains a strategic supply of recovered and recycled halon, while destroying surplus recovered stock. We have also assisted other countries to develop and implement halon management systems, in particular in India.

To manage SGGs, the Ozone Protection Act 1989 was amended in 2003. The amended legislation, the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, incorporates SGGs into the licensing system already in place for ODS, allows the development of national controls on the purchase, sale, handling and disposal of ODS and SGGs and allows the implementation of the Beijing Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which bans the import and manufacture of bromochloromethane, and bans trade in certain other ODSs with countries that have not ratified the Montreal Protocol.

Industry involvement in policy and planning processes is essential to ensuring a workable and cost-effective approach.

How far have we come?

Australia has met or exceeded all phaseout targets set through the Montreal Protocol, with most ODS having been phased out. Australia will phaseout hydrochlorofluorocarbons by 2015, five years ahead of the requirement under the Montreal Protocol. In doing so, our hydrochlorofluorocarbon consumption will be 60% less than that permitted under the Montreal Protocol in the period up to 2020.

The introduction of end use regulations to minimise emissions of ODS and SGGs will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of nearly 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2010.

Australia is also working with New Zealand and the United States, through the Climate Action Partnership, to support research and development projects to reduce synthetic greenhouse gas emissions.

What have we learnt?

Australia’s strong policy and legislative settings have led to a very successful phaseout of ODS and improved management of SGGs. Australian industry are strong supporters of this approach and have worked closely with the Australia Government to develop the consistent requirements for SGGs and end use controls to minimise emission of these ODS and SGGs.

The industry was closely consulted in the 2001 review of the Ozone Protection Act 1989, in developing the amended legislation and end use controls for refrigeration and air conditioning, fire protection and methyl bromide fumigation, and will continue to be involved as the remaining end use controls are developed. Australia’s international involvement, particularly through contributions to the multilateral fund of the Montreal Protocol, has also assisted other countries in the global phaseout of ODS.

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