Problems With Current U.S. Policy

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Date: Apr. 2000
From: Foreign Policy in Focus(Vol. 5, Issue 8)
Publisher: Institute for Policy Studies
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 792 words

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U.S. treatment of the Montreal and Kyoto protocols as mutually exclusive environmental treaties not only fails to internalize the new scientific evidence demonstrating the correlation between ozone depletion and global warming but also leads to ineffective, discordant policy-making that does not adequately protect life on earth against these synergistic atmospheric threats. In addition, the Clinton administration has accommodated industry interests bent on prolonging the use of ozone depleting and global warming chemicals. Washington, for instance, has refused to accelerate the HCFC phase-out or to close a loophole that allows methyl bromide (MB) use in developing countries even after 2005, when it is phased out in developed countries.

In 1992, the Montreal Protocol allowed continued use of MB--a deadly pesticide as well as a potent ozone depleter--for fumigation of goods and shipping containers used in international and domestic trade. This use currently accounts for over 22% of the MB consumed worldwide. U.S. agencies are split on the MB question. Under pressure from industry lobbyists, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has expanded MB application to include wood products used in international shipping from China and Mexico, even though both countries have indicated that heat treatment is both less expensive...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A61635465