Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 19 No. 7
Friday, 14 December 2000


The 20th Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-20) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-13 July 2000. Two hundred ninety-one delegates attended the meeting, representing 100 governments, as well as UN agencies, industry and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Delegates to OEWG-20 were briefed on and discussed the reports of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP). They also considered the following topics in preparation for the 12th Meeting of the Parties (MOP-12), to be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 11-15 December 2000:

review of hydrochloroflourocarbon (HCFC) control measures for Article 5 Parties;

measures to facilitate the transition from chloroflourocarbon (CFC)-based metered-dose inhalers (MDI);

use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) as process agents;

a long-term strategy for the collection, storage, disposal and destruction of ODS and ODS-containing equipment;

the prevention of illegal trade in ODS and products containing ODS;

the proposed corrections to the Beijing Adjustment; and

measures to make available halons for critical use in Article 5 Parties.


Concerns that the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other anthropogenic substances were first raised during the early- to mid-1970s. At that time, scientists warned that the release of CFCs and other substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, thus hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations, as well as harm humans by causing higher rates of skin cancer and weakened immune systems. In response to this growing concern, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened a conference of experts from 32 countries in March 1977. This conference adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to determine the extent of the problem as a guide for future international action.

VIENNA CONVENTION: In May 1981, the UNEP Governing Council decided to authorize negotiations toward achieving an international agreement on protecting the ozone layer. The Ad Hoc Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts for the Elaboration of a Global Framework Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which included representatives from 24 nations, began meeting in 1982 and resulted in the March 1985 adoption of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The Convention established the need to cooperate on relevant monitoring, research and data exchanges. However, it did not impose specific obligations on the signatories to reduce production or consumption of ODS or specify what substances caused ozone depletion. To date, the Convention has 176 Parties.

MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Efforts to negotiate binding country obligations and achieve agreement on identifying ODS resumed in 1986, leading to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 16 September 1987. To date, the Protocol has 175 Parties. Under the Protocol, governments recognized the need to reduce CFC production and consumption. Developed countries (non-Article 5 Parties) pledged to reduce production and consumption of CFCs by 50% of 1986 levels by 1999 and to freeze production and consumption of halons at 1986 levels. Developing countries (Article 5 Parties) were granted a grace period allowing them to increase their use of these ODS before taking on commitments. However, while the Protocol was seen as an important step forward, it did not provide a comprehensive set of obligations covering all ODS, or set in place targets that would stabilize the level of ozone depletion. In addition, it did not include a regime for international monitoring of production and consumption of ODS. Provisions for a fund to defray the costs of substitutes for CFCs in the developing countries were also lacking.

LONDON AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: Further scientific evidence – including increasing information about the ozone hole over Antarctica and evidence of reductions in the ozone layer over the Northern Hemisphere – gave fresh impetus to negotiations and the regime-building process. Delegates to the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-2), which took place in London in June 1990, agreed to amend and adjust the Protocol to include other ODS and accelerate existing phase-out timetables. The London Amendment added 10 more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform, which were to be phased out by developed and developing countries by 2000 and 2005, respectively. The adjustment required developed countries to phase out CFCs and halons by 2000. To date, 140 Parties have ratified the London Amendment.

In addition, MOP-2 established the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the first of its kind to be established under an environmental agreement. The Fund meets the incremental costs of developing countries to implement the control measures of the Protocol and finances all clearing-house functions, including technical assistance, information, training and costs of the Fund Secretariat. The Fund is administered by an Executive Committee, which is comprised of seven donor and seven recipient countries. Its finances are replenished every three years.

COPENHAGEN AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: The Fourth Meeting of the Parties (MOP-4) took place in Copenhagen in 1992. Delegates agreed to shorten the existing control schedule, so that developed countries would phase out CFCs, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform by 1996, and halons by 1994. They also added methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) to the list of controlled ODS. For developed countries, production and consumption of methyl bromide was to be frozen at 1991 levels, HBFCs were to be phased out by 1996 and consumption of HCFCs was to be phased out by 2030, with a 99.5% cut to be achieved by 2020. The Copenhagen Amendment also agreed to stronger import and export controls and non-compliance procedures. To date, 108 Parties have ratified the Copenhagen Amendment.

VIENNA ADJUSTMENTS: At the Seventh Meeting of the Parties (MOP-7), held in Vienna in December 1995, developing countries agreed to phase out HBFCs by 1996, to freeze their production and consumption of methyl bromide in 2002 at average 1995-98 levels, and to freeze their consumption of HCFCs in 2016 leading to a phase out by 2040. The Vienna Adjustments also tightened the commitments of developed countries on HCFCs by adjusting the baseline for the target, and setting these countries a phase-out date of 2010 for methyl bromide.

MONTREAL AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At the Ninth Meeting of the Parties (MOP-9), held in Montreal in September 1997, developed countries agreed to move forward the phase out of methyl bromide to 2005, while developing countries agreed to a phase out by 2015. Delegates also agreed to a new licensing system for controlling illegal trade in ODS based on licenses issued by Parties for each import and export, and on regular information exchanges between Parties. The aim of this licensing system was to enable customs officials and police to track trade in CFCs and detect illegal trade. The new system is scheduled to begin operating in 2000. To date, 37 Parties have ratified the Montreal Amendment.

MOP-11/COP-5: The Eleventh Meeting of the Parties (MOP-11) and the Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP-5) to the Vienna Convention met jointly in Beijing, China, from 29 November – 3 December 1999. MOP-11/COP-5 resulted in the adoption of the Beijing Amendment and Adjustments, as well as the Beijing Declaration and the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund with US$477.7 million for 2000-2002. Delegates adopted other decisions on, inter alia: new ODS; definition of pre-shipment applications of methyl bromide; quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) uses of methyl bromide; essential-use nominations for non-Article 5 Parties for controlled substances for 2000 and 2001; global exemptions for laboratory and analytical uses; measures to facilitate the transition to CFC-free MDIs; and process agents.

The Beijing Amendment provides for: a freeze in the level of HCFC production in 2004 for non-Article 5 Parties and in 2016 for Article 5 Parties; the phase out of bromochloromethane by 2002; a ban on trade in HCFCs with non-Parties from 2004; and reporting on annual consumption of methyl bromide for QPS applications. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2001, providing that at least 20 Parties have ratified it. To date, Chile is the only Party that has ratified the Beijing Amendment. The adjustments stipulate the phase out of production allowances to meet the basic domestic needs of Article 5 Parties for CFCs, halons and methyl bromide.


31st Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund: The 31st Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol met from 5-7 July 2000, in Geneva. Matters discussed at this meeting included: the status of contributions and disbursements; reports of the monitoring, evaluation and finance sub-committee and the project review sub-committee; refrigerant management plans; revised guidelines for methyl bromide projects; the terms of reference for a study on CFC alternatives in rigid foams; and concessional lending.

24TH Meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-Compliance Procedure: The 24th Meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-Compliance Procedure for the Montreal Protocol met on 10 July 2000. Mamadou Diallo Iam (Mali) was elected as President and Maria Nolan (UK) as Vice-President. The President reported to OEWG-20 on the work of the Implementation Committee on Wednesday, 12 July (see page 7 below).


On Tuesday, 11 July, Co-Chair Milton Catelin (Australia) opened the 20th meeting of the OEWG. K. Madhava Sarma, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, welcomed delegates on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer. He stated that the imaginative implementation of the Montreal Protocol provides "a ray of hope" in the face of unprecedented environmental degradation. Sarma recalled that the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has fallen by nearly 90% in the past decade and remarked that the remaining implementation of the Protocol should proceed smoothly. However, he pointed to areas requiring continued leadership: growing emissions of ODS through exemptions; increased global warming, which could delay the ozone layer’s recovery; the appearance of markets for new ODS; and slow ratification of the Protocol’s amendments. Sarma also drew attention to the importance of trade regulations on ODS.

Co-Chair Catelin introduced the provisional agenda (UNEP/ OzL.Pro/WG.1/20/1/Rev.1). Sarma proposed an additional item on a proposed technical correction to the Beijing Adjustments. The EC requested that the proposed expedited procedure for the addition of new ODS to the Protocol be discussed under "Other Matters." The agenda was adopted with these amendments.


REPORT OF THE TECHNOLOGY AND ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT PANEL (TEAP): Lambert Kujipers (The Netherlands), Co-Chair of the TEAP, introduced the TEAP Report for 2000. A presentation on issues covered in the report followed.

Feedstock Applications: TEAP reported that 1998 estimates of carbon tetrachloride (CTC) emissions from feedstock used for CFC production had fallen since its last report, and that this application is expected to be phased out by 2010, when production of CFCs is expected to cease. TEAP stated that data on other ODS used as feedstock will be presented in 2001 and that a new process agent task force will be established.

Many delegates requested more detailed information on the proposed schedule for the reduction of feedstock emissions. TEAP responded that an essential use exemptions process for feedstock applications is not expected until 2010, although alternatives are expected by 2005. Regarding the size of emissions, TEAP stated that its estimates are based on 1998 percentages.

The Russian Federation underscored the need to develop measures to reduce emissions from feedstock. The EC indicated that it is in the process of elaborating a draft decision on feedstock applications. India sought clarification as to whether discussion would be limited to uses of CTC as feedstock for the production of substances other than CFCs. Executive Secretary Sarma clarified that the discussion would encompass all CTC feedstock applications.

Essential Use Exemptions: Concerning essential use exemptions, TEAP recommended exemptions for CFCs used in MDIs for Australia, the EC, Poland and the US. TEAP noted that no essential use nomination had been received from the Russian Federation, despite its continuing manufacture of CFC-based MDIs. TEAP stated that it plans to update the handbook for essential use nominations. China expressed concern over the proposal that Article 5 Parties eliminate CFC-based MDIs by 2010, noting possible technical difficulties in making the transition. He called for an exemption for such use.

Solvents: On solvents, TEAP recommended an essential use exemption for Poland for the use of CFC-113 in torpedo maintenance for 2000.

New ODS: Regarding new ODS, TEAP noted that n-propyl bromide is being marketed aggressively, but that studies suggest possible toxicity to humans. TEAP stated that the ozone-depleting potential (ODP) of such short-lived substances may depend on the latitude and longitude of emissions. Australia questioned the projected increase in consumption of n-propyl bromide by Article 5 Parties, given the availability of low cost alternatives. Japan called for further evaluation of economic implications before determining how to address n-propyl bromide.

Canada advised Parties that hexachlorobutadiene is one of 25 substances banned under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. He informed that the preliminary indications show an ODP of 0.07 and that it will be declared toxic this year. Canada will provide the Secretariat with additional information.

On the identification and availability of halon-1202, Canada asked whether TEAP had researched the availability of halon-1202 stocks. TEAP responded that, while it is not currently aware of any stockpile, it will investigate and report on the matter next year.

Aerosols: Concerning aerosols, TEAP reported that there are no technical barriers to phasing out CFC use in non-MDI aerosols, although there may be cultural issues, for example, in Chinese medicine. On CFC-based MDIs, TEAP stated that the introduction of alternatives has been slower than anticipated, although the bulk of the transition can be accomplished by 2005 by many non-Article 5 Parties. TEAP recommended that all Parties develop transition strategies, and cautioned that continuing approval of new CFC-based MDIs could impede this transition. TEAP further noted the need for technology transfer and funding to facilitate the transition to CFC-free MDIs in Article 5 Parties.

Foams: On foams, TEAP reported significant progress since 1998 and stated that, for many types of foam, blends of substances would provide solutions to reducing ODS use. TEAP also emphasized that the cost of alternative technology risks impeding the phase out of CFCs, and emphasized the importance of taking energy efficiency into account.

Halons: Regarding halons, TEAP reported no important technical developments, but stated that a report on halon management strategies would be provided in 2001. TEAP noted progress in reducing halon use in peacekeeping operations, but highlighted difficulties in replacing military equipment containing halons.

Methyl Bromide: On methyl bromide, TEAP updated Parties on consumption and production, national regulations restricting its use and new alternatives. On consumption and production, TEAP noted an increase between 1995 and 1998, mostly in China, as well as an increase in QPS use between 1991 and 1998.

Regarding alternatives to methyl bromide for soil uses, TEAP reported that 70% of global use of methyl bromide is for soil treatment, and that MOP controls on concentrations in field cylinders and doses drove the 25% decrease for non-QPS uses in 1999 for non-Article 5 Parties. He cited chemical and integrated pest management as predominant alternatives, as well as solarization, grafting, organic amendments and combinations.

On alternatives for durable commodities, TEAP highlighted: four new fumigants, which are not yet registered; the lack of current alternatives for a few non-QPS applications; the need to impose restrictions on the use of phosphine for in-transit fumigation; and the need to register the use of sulfuryl chloride for food applications to replace methyl bromide. On alternatives for perishable commodities, TEAP stated that QPS treatments are still predominant and noted that further research on alternatives for QPS such as irradiation, heat treatment and phosphine is a top priority. TEAP concluded that QPS recovery, although not practical in some countries concerned with food purity, might ease reduction.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: On refrigeration and air conditioning, TEAP briefed Parties on domestic, commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration and unitary and mobile air conditioning. On domestic refrigeration, TEAP remarked that HFC-134 and HC-600 are the only alternatives and that enhanced efficiency in their use is of increasing interest, as servicing domestic refrigerators is an issue for both non-Article 5 and Article 5 Parties. TEAP remarked that the problem of disposal of refrigerators remains unsolved, and suggested recycling HFC and HC as an alternative.

On commercial refrigeration, TEAP determined that stand-alone equipment with hydrocarbons is being replaced by R-404 and HFC.

On transport refrigeration, TEAP noted: the conversion to R-134 and R-404; the nonproliferation of ammonia; the lack of consensus on the use of flammable refrigerants; and obstacles to future developments due to the sector’s sensitivity to local regulations.

On mobile air conditioning, TEAP explained that the use of HFC-134 is currently the only alternative, despite accelerating developments on hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

TEAP restructuring: On its membership, structure and organization, TEAP highlighted its balanced representation of countries with economies in transition (CEIT) and Article 5 Parties, TEAP also described its goals, including increasing CEIT and Article 5 Party membership, contingent on funding, maintaining geographic balance and restructuring on the basis of priority issues.

Cooperation with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): TEAP stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation with the IPCC and noted TEAP’s comparative advantages in coordinating this work. Greenpeace International, recalling that HCFCs and HFCs are potent global warming gases, called upon Parties to discourage the use of these substances and to send a clear signal to developing countries that use of these substances does not provide a long-term solution.

REPORT OF THE SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT PANEL (SAP): Dan Albritton (United States), Co-Chair of the SAP, presented the Panel's report. He overviewed challenges associated with the assessment of short-lived gases, such as n-propyl bromide. He explained that it takes months for a chemical to reach the stratosphere and that the rate of breakdown varies by substance, meaning that only a fraction of short-lived gases, which persist for only days or weeks, reach the stratosphere. He noted that the location and season of emissions determine whether short-lived gases reach the stratosphere. He underscored the need for more complex models and field studies to further assess short-lived gases, and suggested methodologies for identifying their ODP ranges and for projecting the relative cumulative additional ozone loss they could cause. He remarked that the forthcoming Third Assessment Report of the IPCC will address links to ozone loss, including the global warming potential of ODS and the impact of ozone loss on climate.

In the ensuing discussion, Honduras suggested using a tri-cellular circulation mode for assessing the ODP of short-lived compounds. Iran called attention to the need to assess country-specific consequences of ozone depletion. SAP remarked that previous SAP reports included global maps of increases in ultraviolet radiation, and that its previous report included a set of common questions about ozone depletion, which could be helpful.

Mexico asked whether the time and criteria applied for n-propyl bromide could be applied to other short-lived substances. Albritton responded that all compounds whose residence time is shorter than global circulation patterns do fall into this category. However, he further explained that the breakdown of substances such as n-propyl bromide may produce substances such as bromine, which are long-lived.

Greenpeace International called for the application of the precautionary principle to ban the production of n-propyl bromide and the adoption of a "zero tolerance policy" through a strong phase-out schedule. Executive Secretary Sarma responded that the TEAP would further study the geographical distribution of n-propyl bromide.


On Tuesday, 11 July, the EC, on behalf of the EU, introduced an EU proposal to adjust the phase-out schedule for consumption of HCFCs in Article 5 Parties (UNEP/OzL.Pro/WG.1/20/2/Add.1). The proposed adjustment brings forward the freeze on Article 5 Parties’ HCFC consumption to 2007 (based on 2006 levels), from 2016 (based on 2015 levels). It also includes reductions of 35% by 2014, 65% by 2020, 90% by 2025, and 99.5% by 2030, leaving the 2040 phase-out date. The EC argued that the proposed adjustment aims to reflect a 10-year grace period and to maintain momentum to minimize ozone depletion by strengthening current controls on HCFCs. The EC added that its proposal also recognizes HCFCs as transitional substances and reflects recent progress in the identification and implementation of sound alternatives.

Many Parties opposed the proposed adjustment, including Nigeria on behalf of the G-77/China, supported by Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, Republic of Korea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. Many of these countries expressed concern over: the absence of readily available alternatives to HCFCs for many applications; uncertainty generated by frequent changes to the schedule of control measures; and possible adverse economic and social consequences. Many also noted the difficulties they would face in implementing a double phase out, having already converted to HCFCs for some applications in order to phase out CFCs.

Brazil expressed concerns about the proposal’s true nature, noting that it changes the substance of the Copenhagen Amendment, and requested clarification as to whether the proposal should be presented as an amendment or adjustment. Mexico expressed sympathy with the EU’s proposal since it would promote new technologies, but said it was launched too late since many countries are already engaged in implementing the existing control measures. St. Vincent and the Grenadines said it is still facing problems with the dumping of unwanted CFCs by "unscrupulous" industries.

Egypt noted that any proposal to accelerate the phase-out schedule should be based on an assessment of the HCFC market in developing countries. Mauritius and El Salvador commented that HCFC-22 and HCFC-141b should be given special consideration, since these are the most important CFC substitutes for developing countries. Kuwait advocated a greater focus on containment and recycling, and requested the TEAP to study the implications of accelerating the HCFC phase out.

Japan considered the proposed adjustment necessary, although it requested clarification on the availability of technologies and substances by 2007. The Czech Republic noted that it has adopted domestic regulations on HCFCs and recommended that TEAP evaluate the possibilities for a complete phase out of HCFCs by 2030. Switzerland stated that the approach of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund to HCFCs should be more consistent with policies defended by the MOP. He suggested that, with some flexibility, the concerns of Article 5 Parties might be reconciled with the "future-oriented approach" of the EU proposal.

The UK stated that the EU proposal would not affect current investments, and would help developing countries to plan with more certainty. She pointed out that HCFCs are transitional substances, which should not be used where more environmentally friendly alternatives are available. She said that Article 5 Parties should not become dependent on substances that will need to be phased out, and that alternatives do exist, as reported by the TEAP.

Greenpeace International stated that any decision should reflect the relationship between ozone depletion and global warming. He further stated that an accelerated phase-out schedule would send the correct signal to industries in Article 5 Parties, increasing their competitiveness. He suggested that Parties reconsider providing funding for a second phase out through the Multilateral Fund for Article 5 Parties having already switched to HCFCs.

Co-Chair Catelin suggested that the EU proposed adjustment should be sent to the legal drafting group and be further considered at MOP-12.

The US supported the Co-Chair’s suggestion, and encouraged bilateral consultations during OEWG-20. He noted that it might be possible to add intermediate steps to the existing HCFC control schedule for developing countries, even if the exact EU proposal could not be accepted. India, supported by China and Mexico, objected to the Co-Chair’s suggestion, and stated that only bilateral consultations should take place at this meeting. Co-Chair Catelin urged the EC to convene bilateral consultations on its proposed adjustment.

On Wednesday, 12 July, Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, noted that, in accordance with decision VII/3, OEWG-20 should only consider whether or not there was "the need" to adjust the HCFC schedule. He stated that the concrete proposed adjustment put forward by the EC was therefore premature. Co-Chair Catelin urged the EC once again to convene bilateral consultations.

On Thursday, 13 July, the EC reported on the consultations it had held with some Article 5 Parties, which had focused on those Parties’ concerns. The EC stated that it was ready to consider these concerns "in a flexible manner" as part of further discussions at MOP-12 and again requested that its proposal be referred to the legal drafting group. This request was opposed by Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, as well as by China, the Dominican Republic, India, and Nicaragua, on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

After a brief break, during which the Co-Chairs held consultations with the EC, China, India and Nigeria, Co-Chair Catelin proposed the following compromise: the provisional agenda for MOP-12 would include an item on "the need for further adjustments to the HCFC phase-out schedule for Article 5 Parties," and the annotations would include both the EU proposal and an alternative proposal to the effect that "the Meeting considered the matter and decided that there was no need for such adjustment." Parties agreed to the Co-Chair’s compromise.


On Tuesday, 11 July, the EC introduced a draft decision on measures to facilitate the transition from CFC-based MDIs, noting that the decision would encourage Parties to reduce their dependence on CFC-based MDIs. The draft decision proposed that, inter alia:

a website listing non-essential products be developed;

MDI manufacturers seek approval of CFC-free alternatives in importing countries;

non-Article 5 Parties develop a phase-out strategy as well as a transition strategy;

CFC holders transfer existing CFC stocks to MDI manufacturers to avoid unnecessary production of CFCs; and

the need for financial, technical and other assistance for Article 5 Parties to facilitate their transition strategies be considered.

Costa Rica proposed additional text requesting Parties to demonstrate their efforts to find alternatives. The Ukraine stressed the need for financial and technical assistance to make the transition and, in this regard, requested specific reference to CEITs. New Zealand reaffirmed its commitment to eliminating CFC-based MDIs by 2005 and, as an MDI importer, urged availability of alternatives. The US and Japan opposed the development of phase-out strategies, noting that it would be an unnecessary burden for countries that have already completed and submitted transition strategies.

Regarding a provision to deem all CFC-based MDIs registered by a non-Article 5 Party after 31 December 2000 non-essential, Australia noted that such a provision could hinder the supply for export to Article 5 Parties for essential uses. The US asked whether the intent of this provision was to prohibit identification of new CFC-based MDIs, and noted that this could have an impact on cost, and thus on access to some medication. A contact group, chaired by Tom Batchelor (EC), was established and met in two sessions on Wednesday, 12 July.

On Thursday, 13 July, Batchelor reported on the progress achieved by the contact group. He noted that proposed amendments to the draft decision had been included in square brackets, and said that a revised version of the draft decision would be made available on the Secretariat’s website in four to six weeks’ time.

The American Lung Association drew attention to the increasing prevalence of asthma and underscored the importance of ensuring quality care for patients that suffer from respiratory diseases during the transition period. She encouraged the development of a responsible global transition policy and urged the Multilateral Fund to assist developing countries in making the transition. She said the introduction of new CFC-based MDIs that offer no new treatment should be discouraged and described the EU proposal as a positive step toward ensuring both environmental and patient protection.


On Wednesday, 12 July, Patrick Széll (UK), Chair of the legal drafting group, introduced the proposed technical corrections to the Beijing Adjustments relating to production allowances for methyl bromide allocated to non-Article 5 Parties to meet the basic domestic needs of Article 5 Parties (UNEP/OzL.Pro/WG.1/20/2/Add.2). He explained that, due to a drafting error made by the legal drafting group at MOP-11, the Beijing Adjustments as adopted led to contradictory methods for calculating these production allowances. He then drew attention to an "unintended consequence" of this error, which granted an allowance of 15% of methyl bromide production in 1991 to meet the basic domestic needs of Article 5 Parties until January 2002, whereas the allowance should be limited to 10%, to be consistent with the other changes introduced by the Beijing Adjustments. Széll noted that, unlike the technical drafting error, this correction involved "a small element of substance." He proposed that both the technical drafting error and the "unintended consequence" should be corrected through further adjustments, to be adopted at MOP-12.

Japan expressed support for the proposed corrections, but sought clarification on several legal points. India requested that a statement be included in the report clarifying that the substance of the Beijing Adjustments would not be changed by the corrections. Co-Chair Catelin agreed to India’s request and, following a suggestion from Széll, formally convened the legal drafting group to consider the legal points raised by Japan.

In the subsequent afternoon Plenary session, Széll introduced a draft decision and adjustments prepared by the legal drafting group (UNEP/OzL.Pro/12/3) to rectify the errors in the Beijing Adjustments. He noted that the work of the legal drafting group had been purely technical. Széll then provided clarification on the legal points raised by Japan. He explained that, inter alia, the proposed adjustments to be adopted at MOP-12 would only enter into force in mid or late 2001 and that, in the meantime, Parties would be bound by the Beijing Adjustments, including the technical error, that would come into force on 28 July 2000.

Regarding Japan’s question on how to calculate the annual average of the methyl bromide production allowance to meet the basic domestic needs of Article 5 Parties, and whether methyl bromide destroyed or exported for use as feedstock should be included in the calculation, Széll said the legal drafting group had not come to a conclusion. He noted that the question also applies to other ODS and was not, therefore, specific to the proposed technical corrections. He pointed to the definition of "production" contained in the Protocol, but suggested that the matter be considered further by delegates with greater technical knowledge. Executive Secretary Sarma clarified that the production of ODS for destruction had no practical relevance, but that ODS exports for use as feedstock should be deducted from production allowances to meet Article 5 Parties’ basic domestic needs.

The US drew attention to the fact that the proposed technical corrections would only have practical effect for up to six months, and would involve at most, 100 tonnes of methyl bromide production.

Co-Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) referred the draft decision and adjustments setting out the proposed technical corrections to MOP-12, and invited Széll to consult intersessionally on the calculation of production allowances.


On Wednesday, 12 July, India introduced a proposal seeking to clarify whether the use of ODS as process agents had constituted the use of controlled substances prior to MOP-10. MOP-10 adopted decision X/14, which states, inter alia, that process agents are controlled substances and that Article 5 Parties are eligible for funding for the incremental costs of measures to reduce emissions from process agents. India pointed out that decision X/14 had led to several interpretations and underscored the need to clarify this decision. He further recalled decision 29/24 of the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee, which stipulates that a certain process agent project would not be eligible for assistance from the Multilateral Fund on the basis of retroactive funding. He submitted that some Parties considered that decisions X/14 and 29/24 did not give Article 5 Parties an equitable grace period for their phase out and resulted in an inequitable base-line period for emissions reductions. He therefore proposed the formation of a contact group to develop a recommendation to MOP-12 to clarify the position.

The US noted that this issue has been debated for the last 5-6 years and that Parties reached a decision at MOP-10, which determined that Parties would review the matter in 2001, based on reports from the TEAP and the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund on the progress made in reducing emissions of controlled substances from process agent uses, the implementation and development of emissions-reduction techniques, and alternative processes. He said consideration of this issue at this meeting would thus be premature. The EC expressed support for the previous decisions and also felt discussion on this matter would be premature. Australia agreed that discussion would benefit from the TEAP and Executive Committee reports. India responded that decision X/14 does not mandate the TEAP or the Executive Committee to clarify the status of process agents, but rather to report on progress made towards their elimination.

China supported India’s proposal and pointed out that decision X/ 14 also promised Article 5 Parties eligibility for funding from the Multilateral Fund for meeting the incremental cost of taking cost-effective measures to reduce emissions of controlled substances from process agents. He further recalled that decision X/14 also requests the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee to develop, as a matter of urgency, funding guidelines and that these guidelines had not yet been received. He underscored the importance of MOP-12 clarifying whether and which projects are eligible for funding. Co-Chair Ashe suggested that India continue informal consultations.

On Thursday, 13 July, India reported that it had been unable to reach consensus on this issue through informal consultations. He proposed that a contact group be established at MOP-12 to consider the issue. He also underscored the importance of addressing the issue of TEAP’s mandate, as set out in decision X/14, at MOP-12, rather than waiting until 2001 when TEAP will have completed and submitted its report. The US questioned the need to establish a contact group and suggested that bilateral discussions continue during the intersessional period. The proposal to establish a contact group will be placed on the agenda of MOP-12.


On Wednesday, 12 July, Mamadou Diallo Iam (Mali), President of the Implementation Committee, reported on the Committee's 24th Meeting held prior to OEWG-20 on 10 July 2000. He noted that the Committee reviewed data submitted by Parties on ODS production and consumption for 1998 and 1999, as well as a report on compliance with, and follow-up to, the Committee's previous recommendations. The Committee identified the following areas of success:

the total global consumption of CFCs decreased during the period 1994 to 1998;

137 Parties fully complied with reporting requirements;

18 Article 5 Parties (out of a current total of 120) decreased CFC consumption for four or five years up to 1998; and

75 Article 5 Parties reported zero consumption of halons, 66 reported zero consumption of CTC, and 71 reported zero consumption of methyl chloroform.

The Committee identified as areas of concern the fact that 11 Parties reported no data from 1986-1998 and that 17 Article 5 Parties have not reported data on Annex I substances for 1995-1996, information that is necessary for determining a baseline for compliance with CFC and halon control schedules. Diallo commended progress made in policy setting, especially in establishing licensing systems. He expressed concern over the increase in imports containing ODS into Article 5 Parties, noting that this may hinder their capacity to comply with the phase-out schedule, and stressed that addressing this trend will require cooperation between exporting and importing countries.

Senegal underscored the need for funding for projects aimed at reducing ODS consumption. Mauritius called on Parties to ban exports of CFC-containing products. Barbados drew attention to problems encountered due to imported equipment falsely labeled as CFC-free, which is later discovered to contain CFCs and require CFCs for maintenance. Poland commended the tremendous progress achieved to date and suggested providing annual progress reports on policy setting.


On Wednesday, 12 July, Poland introduced a draft decision on the prevention of illegal trade in ODS and products containing ODS. He stressed the importance of proper control in trade of ODS and of the compliance of customs officers to this end, and drew attention to challenges to eliminating illegal trade, including difficulty in identifying ODS, the complexity of customs codes related to ODS and ODS-containing products, the lack of an internationally accepted common labeling system and the lack of training for customs officers. The draft decision calls for the ODS Customs Codes Discussion Group to continue work on issues surrounding the customs classification of mixtures containing ODS, and requests the TEAP to assess the feasibility of introducing a universal labeling system for ODS and products containing ODS, developing a universal system for additional classification of ODS, and establishing guidelines for the format of a national database for customs officers. It also requested the TEAP to clarify the difference between products containing ODS and mixtures containing ODS, and to produce an amended list of categories of products containing ODS with the corresponding customs classification codes.

The Secretariat overviewed the work of the ODS Customs Codes Discussion Group, which holds discussions via the Internet, and remarked that each substance listed in the Montreal Protocol has a harmonized system customs code. Noting that many substances are contained in mixtures, he drew attention to the need to address customs codes for ODS-containing mixtures.

The US suggested that the World Customs Organization (WCO) should address these issues. He pointed out that the Secretariat, not the TEAP, is the link to the WCO and questioned assigning the proposed tasks to the TEAP. He proposed bilateral discussions as a way forward and offered assistance on establishing guidelines for the format of a national database for customs officers. Canada queried which body would be most appropriate to address these issues. TEAP commented that it has no experience with the WCO or the Customs Code Discussion Group, but expressed willingness to establish a task force to investigate the issues.

Several delegations, including El Salvador, India, Indonesia and Zimbabwe, supported the draft decision. Algeria, Argentina and Nigeria emphasized the need to train customs officers and called for assistance to this end. Mali noted that the West African Community, comprised of 16 countries, has a customs system and drew attention to the need for harmonization between this Community and the international system. Antigua and Barbuda expressed concern over the additional layer of complexity the proposal would present to national customs regimes. Norway called for greater effort in collecting data to document illegal trade in ODS in order to improve understanding of the issue, and urged Parties to submit accounts of illegal trade incidents prior to MOP-12. Delegates agreed to hold informal discussions to further the debate.

On Thursday, 13 July, Poland introduced a revised draft decision. He noted that the substance of the proposal remained unchanged, but with the Ozone Secretariat requested to carry out the activities previously proposed for the TEAP. Antigua and Barbuda said the role of exporting countries is not adequately addressed in the draft decision, underscored the need to address the issue of import and export of product equipment reliant on Annex A or B substances, and said the MOP-11 decision on the role of exporting countries should be revisited. The US and Canada commented that they had some concerns with the revised draft decision, but did not elaborate on these concerns, and suggested that these concerns be addressed through bilateral discussions during the intersessional period. Co-Chair-Catelin suggested, and delegates concurred, that proposed amendments should be submitted to Poland during the intersessional period and that the issue should be further discussed at MOP-12.


On Wednesday, 12 July, delegates discussed a draft decision proposed by Australia, Canada and Switzerland on disposal of controlled substances. Canada informed Parties of the outcomes of the Workshop on ODS Disposal Technologies, held 11 July, sponsored by these governments and UNEP. He also introduced the draft decision, explaining that it requests TEAP to establish a task force on ODS destruction technologies, which would report regularly to the Parties on the status of ODS destruction technologies, with the first report to be submitted by MOP-14. The task force would also:

review existing criteria for the approval of destruction facilities as set out in section 2.4 of the Protocol Handbook;

consider possible linkages to other international treaties regarding the issue of disposal; and

evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of options for the long-term management of contaminated ODS in both Article 5 and non-Article 5 Parties, including options such as storage, transport, collection, reclamation and disposal.

The EC reminded Parties that the EU will have legislation in force by October 2000 that will include regulations on ODS destruction and will request member States to submit information on systems for recovery, recycling and destruction of ODS. El Salvador suggested that discussion of the draft decision should be extended to regional network meetings. TEAP welcomed the proposed request to create a task force. India supported the proposal and requested TEAP’s advice on how to handle CFCs smuggled into Article 5 Parties' territories.


Delegates discussed other matters on Wednesday, 12 July.

AVAILABILITY OF HALONS: India introduced a draft decision on measures to make halons available to Article 5 Parties for critical use. The draft decision noted the importance of halon-1211 and halon-1301 for certain applications and, based on decision IV/26, proposed the development of measures to encourage recovery, recycling and reclamation of these substances in developed countries, since many developing countries have stopped producing these substances, but still need them for certain critical-use applications. India explained that the proposal aims to address the situation of lack of availability of recycled halons at a reasonable cost, and said that the proposal should lead to a decision on a mechanism to facilitate the free flow of these substances from developed to developing countries to meet their critical needs.

The US remarked that some Article 5 Parties hold a surplus of halons but lack the capacity to destroy them, while others are in need of halons for certain applications. Australia recalled that the UNEP halon information clearing-house is intended to facilitate the free flow of halons, and recounted its good experience in dealing with halon banks. India recalled that the cost of access to halons through such banks is prohibitive to some developing countries. The EC commented on the new European regulation effective on October 2000 that will prohibit the trade in surplus halons and offered assistance in gathering information to clarify the issue.

NEW ODS: The EC recalled that at MOP-11, Parties agreed to consider ways to expedite the procedure for adding and removing controlled substances, but noted that Parties still face internal difficulties to obtain legislative approval. Canada echoed the EC's concern and suggested that any procedure should be adopted through an amendment.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: On Wednesday, 12 July, Bongnessan Arséme, Minister of Environment and Water of Burkina Faso, addressed delegates, thanking the Parties for the decision to hold MOP-12 in Ouagadougou, and presented a short informational video on the conference facilities and cultural aspects of Burkina Faso.

Argentina informed Parties of an initiative with Finland to celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer from 15-16 September 2000, in Ushuaia, Argentina. Both countries have cities located near the poles, where the depletion of the ozone layer reaches the highest levels, and have decided to develop joint activities to address this common problem.


In the closing Plenary on Thursday, 13 July, delegates considered the draft report of the meeting (UNEP/OzL.Pro/WG.1/20/L.1). India and others noted that several interventions were not recorded in the report. Executive Secretary Sarma invited countries to submit text reflecting the omitted interventions to be added to the final version. Lithuania regretted the GEF's absence at OEWG-20 and requested its participation in future meetings. Delegates adopted the report with minor amendments.

The US, on behalf of all delegates, thanked Executive Secretary Sarma, who is to retire next month, for his enormous contribution to the protection of the ozone layer and for his able leadership in assisting Parties in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. Delegates honored Sarma with a standing ovation. Co-Chair Catelin thanked delegates for their constructive contributions during the meeting and hoped that this spirit would continue at MOP-12. He declared the meeting closed at 12:30 pm.


A QUIET SESSION, BUT NEW CHALLENGES AHEAD: Lasting only two and a half days, OEWG-20 was the shortest OEWG meeting ever. The agenda was certainly slim – the only "big" items were the EU proposals to accelerate the HCFC phase-out schedule for developing countries and to facilitate the transition to CFC-free MDIs. Most of the remaining items concerned "housekeeping" matters, which, while important, were never expected to generate much debate. The atmosphere at OEWG-20 was very relaxed, and many delegates remarked on how little was going on.

Underneath its quiet exterior, however, OEWG-20 hinted at new challenges that the ozone regime will soon have to grapple with, centering on developed countries on the one hand, and developing countries on the other.

DEVELOPED WORLD CHALLENGES: For many delegates, ozone depletion by the developed world is basically a "problem solved." CFC and halon use, which prompted the emergence of the ozone regime in the first place, has been all but eliminated in developed countries, so that efforts for these countries are now focused on reducing exemptions and watching out for new ODS.

Debates at OEWG-20 suggested that the ozone regime is coming up against the law of diminishing returns for the developed countries. The "low hanging fruits," that is, the relatively easy and plentiful options for cutting ODS, have already been picked, and more and more effort is now required to achieve smaller and smaller benefits for the ozone layer. This raises the question: Must all ODS be phased out in all applications in developed countries? Or would the economic and regulatory costs of such a total phase out outweigh its benefits? Not surprisingly, delegates were divided on this question. The environmental NGOs, warning against the dangers of complacency, forcefully argued for the application of the precautionary principle and for a "zero tolerance" policy on new ODS and all applications, while many delegates privately advocated a more flexible approach. "How much is enough" is a difficult question, which, due to its unprecedented success, the Montreal Protocol is one of the few environmental treaties ever to face.

DEVELOPING WORLD CHALLENGES: While the ODS phase out is almost complete in the developed world, the developing countries are at a much earlier stage. Developing country ODS targets have only just come into effect, with a mandated freeze of CFCs from July 1999 to July 2000. A worrying sign, touched upon at OEWG-20, is slow ratification of the Protocol Amendments by some large developing country emitters. China, for example, has not yet ratified even the 1992 Copenhagen Amendment. Developed countries are likely to attempt to accelerate the various ODS phase-out schedules for developing countries, and these attempts promise to raise longstanding, and often acrimonious, North/South disputes. By way of illustration, the EU proposal to tighten developing country HCFC targets was one of the few issues to generate political controversy at OEWG-20. This was probably the first time in the ozone regime that a developed country has proposed to tighten targets solely for developing countries, without a package of financial assistance, additional strengthened commitments for developed countries or some other trade-off. The protracted exchanges that ensued between the EC and developing countries suggest a bumpy road ahead for the evolution of developing country targets. Pointing to these difficulties, an experienced delegate warned that the Montreal Protocol’s reputation as a "successful" environmental agreement may be premature.

STATE OF TRANSITION: Several delegates attributed the low-key discussions of OEWG-20 to a "quiet period" in the ozone regime. Most developed country ODS phase-out dates have already expired, yet data on the implementation by developing countries of their first set of targets will not be available until 2001. Some delegates privately argued that the regime should now move onto a biennial schedule, with a MOP and a preparatory OEWG only every two years, as there is not enough business to warrant the current annual round of meetings. Others disagreed, however, pointing to the emerging challenges relating to developing country targets that are likely to require sustained attention from the Parties. Several delegates, however, suggested that the Implementation Committee and the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund are gradually overtaking the OEWG as the key bodies of the Montreal Protocol. This trend is likely to continue as developing country targets kick in, leading to more work and responsibilities for these Committees as demands for funding increase and non-compliance problems inevitably arise. The changes underway in the ozone regime were symbolically underlined at OEWG-20 by the impending retirement of Executive Secretary Sarma, who has headed the Ozone Secretariat for over a decade.

The ozone regime is in a state of transition, towards a new, more mature phase, when the emerging challenges outlined above will need to be addressed. OEWG-20 only scratched the surface of these challenges, but Parties will soon need to tackle them head on. Meetings of the OEWG may not always be so quiet.


UNEP OZONE SECRETARIAT, ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ASSESSMENT PANEL: This meeting will be held from 22-29 August 2000, in Abisco, Sweden. For more information,contact: UNEP Ozone Secretariat; tel: +254-2-62-1234; fax: +254-2-62-3601; e-mail:; Internet:

13TH SESSION OF THE FCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES: SB-13 will be held from 11-15 September 2000, in Lyon, France, and will be preceded by one week of informal meetings, including workshops. For more information, contact: the FCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: This celebration will be held by Argentina and Finland on 15-16 September 2000, in the city of Ushuaia, Argentina. Both countries have cities located near the poles, where the depletion of the ozone layer reaches the highest levels, and have decided to develop joint activities to address this common problem. For more information, contact: Isabel Tomadin, Government of Argentina, Ozone Program; San Martin 459, entrepiso Of. 71, (1004) Capital Federal, Argentina; tel: +54-11 4348-8383; fax: +54-11 4348-8274; e-mail:; Internet:

THE EARTH TECHNOLOGIES FORUM: This meeting, organized by the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, will be held from 25�28 September 2000, in Washington, DC, USA. Both ozone and climate change issues will be discussed. For more information, contact: Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy: tel: +1-703-243-0344; fax: +1-703-243-2874; e-mail:; Internet:

International Conference on Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation in Stored Products: This meeting will be held from 29 October - 3 November 2000, in Fresno, California, USA. For more information contact: J.G. Leesch, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Services' Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory; tel: +1-559-453-3090; fax: +1-559-453-3088; e-mail:; Internet:

Seventh Meeting of THE Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for an International Legally Binding Instrument for the Application of the Prior Informed consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade: This meeting will be held from 30 October�3 November 2000, in Geneva to prepare for the first Conference of the Parties. For more information, contact: Niek Van der Graaf, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); tel: +39-6-5705-3441; fax: +39-6-5705-6347; e-mail:; Internet:

Ozone Operations Resource Group Meeting, The World Bank: The group will meet from 3-17 November 2000, in Washington, DC, USA. For more information, contact: the Montreal Protocol Operations Unit at the World Bank; tel: +1-202-458-1913; fax: +1-202-522-3258; e-mail:; Internet:

Stratospheric Processes and Their Role in Climate (SPARC) 2000 General Assembly: This meeting will be held from 6-10 November 2000, in Mar del Plata, Argentina. For more information, contact: UNEP Ozone Secretariat (see above).

6TH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE FCCC: COP-6 will be held from 13-24 November 2000, in The Hague, The Netherlands. For more information, contact the FCCC Secretariat (see above).

THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE INC FOR AN INTERNATIONAL LEGALLY BINDING INSTRUMENT ON CERTAIN PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS: This meeting will take place from 4-9 December 2000, in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, contact: UNEP Chemicals (IRPTC); tel: +41 (22) 979-9111; fax: +41 (22) 797-3460; e-mail:; Internet:

12TH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: MOP-12 will to take place from 11-15 December 2000, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The 32nd Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund will be held from 4-8 December. The Bureau will meet on 11 December. For more information, contact: the UNEP Ozone Secretariat (see above).

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <> is written and edited by Joanna Depledge <>, Laura Ivers <>, Hernan Lopez, LL.M. <>, and Thomas Yongo <>. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA and DFAIT), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-ENV). General Support for the Bulletin during 2000 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, and BP Amoco. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at <> and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at The satellite image was taken above Geneva �2000 The Living Earth, Inc. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to the Managing Editor at <>.


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