Since early 90’s, Argentina has been a committed MP proponent as it was the country to see the highest ozone depletion of any inhabited area of the world in its territory close to the Antarctic. The first MP obligations for developing countries kicked-in in 1999 with a freeze on average 1995–1997 consumption levels of ozone depleting substances (ODS). For Argentina, the ODS to be targeted under the MP’s phased compliance period was primarily CFCs used widely in refrigeration, air-conditioning, aerosol, metered dose inhalers (MDIs), solvents and foam applications, as well as methyl chloroform used as a solvent. Halon, a fire extinguishing agent, was consumed in smaller quantities but was important due to its high ozone depleting potential (ODP). Out of the various industrial sectors using ODS in Argentina, durable goods manufacturing with CFC as a refrigerant or foam blowing agent was considered the most economically and socially significant.
As one of the MLF Implementing Agencies since 1991, the Bank prepared and supported the project under a flexible “umbrella project” concept to absorb new subprojects in line with time-bound country and MP priorities. The Bank was proactive in developing an MLF subproject pipeline in priority sectors and adequately mobilized required technical expertise. It anticipated the need for a functional institutional framework beyond the project needs to ensure enabling regulations and policy were put into place to foster sustainable outcomes. The early 2000 economic crisis forced cancellation of many of the initial subprojects and the Bank responded by a strong drive to develop new subprojects in close collaboration with the key Government agencies. The Bank also provided the Government policy support on implementing regulations on controlling halon and CFC production. In 2011, the Bank engaged with the Government to ensure adequate transition arrangements from CFC to hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC) phase-out.
The project impact on ozone layer protection, measured by tons of eliminated ozone depleting potential (ODP), was 3,944; more than three times the upper value of the initial target range. This achievement was due to addition of a subproject eliminating halon in 1998 and a CFC production sector subproject in 2004. By January 1, 2010, Argentina had successfully eliminated 5,052 ODP tons of its baseline consumption of CFCs, halons and carbon tetrachloride (CTC) through MLF support and regulation.
- Disbursed US$27.8 million in grant financing for ODS elimination/related technology demonstration, transfer and training through 23 subprojects;
- Leveraged an estimated US$18 million in private sector co-financing;
- Achieved particular success through (i) establishing the world’s only functioning halon bank for tracking and exchanging recycled halon and reducing demand for virgin halon, and (ii) supporting development of an innovative alternative technology to CFCs in MDIs used to treat pulmonary-respiratory disease, based on isobutane;
- Contributed to more than a net 37 million tons of avoided CO2 eq. emissions annually; and
- Created capacity within the Ministry of Industry (MoI) to prepare, administer and monitor subprojects over a significant time encompassing periods of political uncertainty, economic crisis and subproject stagnation.