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Russia: Bank Official Urges G-7 To Help Stop CFCs

Washington, 6 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A senior official of the World Bank has appealed to the summit of G-7 major industrial nations later this month in Denver, Colorado, to come up with the final $12 million to help Russia eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals.

World Bank Managing Director of Operations, Caio Koch-Weser, says it's an "appropriate" subject for the summit because Russia will be a full participant. As well, he told a press conference in Washington today, the impact of not stopping Russian production of chemicals known as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) would "seriously undermine" the world-wide effort to stop making the environmentally damaging compounds.

Russia has seven plants still producing up to 40,000 tons of CFCs, used primarily in refrigeration. Much of that is now flooding black markets around the world. Most countries have stopped making CFCs and the World Bank earlier this year worked out a plan with Russia to finance the changeover there.

But Moscow did not have the $27 million necessary for the program and so far only about $15 million has been raised. The U.S. and Britain, both participants in the summit, have already pledged money.Japan and Germany have not.