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Help the third world use CFC alternatives: Coulter

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PR 89/084 CANBERRA MARCH 8, 1989


Senator John Coulter, spokesman for the Australian Democrats on Science, today called on industrialised countries to help less developed countries use CFC alternatives.

Under the Montreal Protocol, industrialised countries are to cut their use of CFCs by 50 per cent by the end of the century but developing countries may delay their compliance by ten years providing their annual consumption does not exceed 0.3 kg per capita. Australia's per capita consumption

in 1986 was 1.1 kg.

"We simply cannot have countries like India and China reaching 0.3 kg per capita consumption before cutting back next century" said Senator Coulter. "Even though it is less on a per capita basis than developed countries, sheer numbers will mean their contribution to ozone depletion will far

exceed that of developed countries.

"At present an average Australian uses CFC at 45 times the rate of an average Chinese, but China has sixty times the population of Australia.

"Mr Peter Usher, the United Nation's Environment Program's scientist in charge of ozone depletion, has warned that if developing countries take advantage of the concessions in the Montreal Protocol, then there will be a doubling of ozone


"Industrialised nations therefore have a moral responsibility to help poorer nations develop CFC alternatives. ICI and DuPont have already announced these will be available in early 1991.

"It is imperative that Australia help the developing countries to implement new technologies for production of safe alternatives. Under the Federal Government's Ozone legislation passed yesterday, however, Australian exporters will still be able to export dangerous CFCs to the Third World while Australian consumption is being cut back.

"It is a world-wide problem not confined to national borders. If we continue to export CFCs 11 and 12 to developing countries it is equivalent to increasing our own consumption.

"Australia should implement the new technologies and adopt the alternatives, thereby setting an example to the world" Senator Coulter concluded.

Further information: John Coulter 062-773648 Jenny Macleod 062-773645