New Zealand Ratifies Ozone Amendment

  • Simon Upton

New Zealand has agreed to strengthen an important agreement on ozone layer protection, Environment Minister Simon Upton said today.

The Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer tightens controls on methyl bromide (used in the fumigation of soils and of fruit and vegetable exports) and illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances.

Although New Zealand has had import controls in place since 1988, it will need to implement an export licensing scheme aimed at detecting illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances, which is becoming a problem in some regions.

"It is important that New Zealand signals its continuing commitment to protecting the ozone layer, and ratifying the amendment to the Montreal Protocol does just that," Mr Upton said.

"New Zealand's geography means it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone depletion. Last year we witnessed thelargest ever ozone hole over Antarctica and although the international response is on track to eventually restore the ozone layer, it is an important reminder that there is no room for complacency."