The twenty-fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 25) took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21-25 October 2013. Over 560 participants attended the meeting, representing governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academia, industry and the agricultural sector.
The preparatory segment took place from Monday to Wednesday, 21-23 October. The high-level segment (HLS), convened on Thursday and Friday, 24-45 October. The preparatory segment considered a number of substantive items as well as considered draft proposals forwarded by the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) at its thirty-third meeting in June 2013. The HLS adopted the decisions forwarded to it by the preparatory segment. Since the preparatory segment did not conclude its work by Wednesday, it reconvened several times in parallel to the HLS to complete discussions on outstanding agenda items.
MOP 25 adopted 12 substantive and nine procedural decisions. Substantive decisions adopted include: terms of reference for the study of the 2015-2017 multilateral fund (MLF) replenishment; the implementation of the Montreal Protocol with regard to small island developing states (SIDS); and a Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) report on alternatives to ozone depleting substances (ODS). Procedural decisions adopted include: budget; organizational issues related to the TEAP; and membership of Montreal Protocol bodies for 2014.
MOP 25 did not conclude discussions on the Montreal Protocol amendment proposals, additional funding for the MLF for the implementation of the Protocol to maximize the climate benefit of the accelerated phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs); and the harmonization and validation of the climate impact fund.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OZONE REGIME
Concerns that the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other anthropogenic substances first arose in the early 1970s. At that time, scientists warned that the release of these substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations and harm humans through higher rates of skin cancers, cataracts and weakened immune systems. In response to this growing concern, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened a conference in March 1977 that adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to guide future international action.
VIENNA CONVENTION: Negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer were launched in 1981 under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme. In March 1985 the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. It called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange, but did not impose obligations to reduce the use of ODS. The Convention now has 197 parties, which represents universal ratification.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL: In September 1987, efforts to negotiate binding obligations to reduce the use of ODS led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Protocol introduced control measures for some CFCs and halons for developed countries (non-Article 5 parties). Developing countries (Article 5 parties) were granted a grace period allowing them to increase their ODS use before taking on commitments. The Protocol currently has 197 parties.
Since 1987, several amendments and adjustments to the Protocol have been adopted, adding new obligations and additional ODS, and adjusting existing control schedules. Amendments require ratification by a defined number of parties before they enter into force, while adjustments enter into force automatically.
LONDON AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: Delegates to MOP 2, which took place in London, UK, in 1990, tightened control schedules and added ten more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform. To date, 197 parties have ratified the London Amendment. MOP 2 also established the MLF, which meets the incremental costs incurred by Article 5 parties in implementing the Protocol’s control measures and finances clearinghouse functions. The Fund is replenished every three years and has received pledges of over US$3.11 billion since its inception.
COPENHAGEN AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP 4, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1992, delegates tightened existing control schedules and added controls on methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). MOP4 also agreed to enact non-compliance procedures and to establish an Implementation Committee (ImpCom). The ImpCom examines cases of possible non-compliance by parties, and makes recommendations to the MOP aimed at securing full compliance. To date, 197 parties have ratified the Copenhagen Amendment.
MONTREAL AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP 9, held in Montreal, Canada, in 1997, delegates agreed to a new licensing system for the import and export of ODS, in addition to tightening existing control schedules. They also agreed to ban trade in methyl bromide with non-parties to the Copenhagen Amendment. To date, 194 parties have ratified the Montreal Amendment.
BEIJING AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP 11, held in Beijing, China, in 1999, delegates agreed to controls on bromochloromethane, additional controls on HCFCs, and to reporting on methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment applications. At present, 192 parties have ratified the Beijing Amendment.
MOP 15 AND FIRST EXTRAORDINARY MOP: MOP 15, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003, resulted in decisions on issues including the implications of the entry into force of the Beijing Amendment. However, disagreements surfaced over exemptions allowing the use of methyl bromide beyond 2004 for critical uses where no technically or economically feasible alternatives were available. Delegates could not reach agreement and took the unprecedented step of calling for an “extraordinary” MOP. The first Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP 1) took place in March 2004, in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to critical-use exemptions (CUEs) for methyl bromide for 2005 and introduced the “double-cap” concept distinguishing between old and new production of methyl bromide as a compromise.
MOP 16 AND EXMOP 2: MOP 16 took place in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2004. Work on methyl bromide exemptions for 2006 was not completed and parties decided to hold a second ExMOP. ExMOP 2 was held in July 2005, in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to supplementary levels of CUEs for 2006. Parties also agreed, inter alia, that: CUEs allocated domestically that exceed levels permitted by the MOP must be drawn from existing stocks; and methyl bromide stocks must be reported.
COP 7/MOP 17: MOP 17 was held jointly with the seventh Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (COP 7) in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005. Parties approved essential-use exemptions for 2006 and 2007, supplemental CUEs for 2006 and CUEs for 2007, and production and consumption of methyl bromide in non-Article 5 parties for laboratory and analytical critical uses. Other decisions included a US$470.4 million replenishment of the MLF for 2006-2008, and agreement on terms of reference for a feasibility study on developing a monitoring system for the transboundary movement of controlled ODS.
MOP 18: MOP 18 took place in New Delhi, India, in 2006. Parties adopted decisions on, inter alia: future work following the Ozone Secretariat’s workshop on the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the TEAP; difficulties faced by some Article 5 parties manufacturing CFC-based metered-dose inhalers (MDIs); treatment of stockpiled ODS relative to compliance; and a feasibility study on developing a system for monitoring the transboundary movement of ODS.
MOP 19: MOP 19 took place in Montreal, Canada, in 2007. Delegates adopted decisions on: an accelerated phase-out of HCFCs; critical-use nominations for methyl bromide; and monitoring transboundary movements of, and illegal trade in, ODS. Parties also adopted an adjustment accelerating the phase- out of HCFCs.
COP 8/MOP 20: MOP 20 was held jointly with COP 8 of the Vienna Convention in Doha, Qatar in 2008. Parties agreed to replenish the MLF with US$490 million for 2009-2011 and adopted other decisions, including: the environmentally sound disposal of ODS; approval of 2009 and 2010 CUEs for methyl bromide; and compliance and reporting issues.
MOP 21: MOP 21 took place in Port Ghalib, Egypt, in 2009 and adopted decisions on: alternatives to HCFCs; institutional strengthening; essential uses; environmentally sound management of ODS banks; methyl bromide; and data and compliance issues. Delegates considered, but did not agree to, a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) submitted by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Mauritius.
MOP 22: MOP 22 took place in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2010 and adopted decisions on, inter alia: the terms of reference for the TEAP study on the MLF replenishment and for the evaluation of the financial mechanism; and assessment of technologies for ODS destruction. Delegates considered, but did not agree to, two proposals to amend the Montreal Protocol to address HFCs, one submitted by the US, Mexico and Canada and another submitted by FSM.
COP 9/MOP 23: COP 9/MOP 23 took place in Bali, Indonesia in 2011 and adopted decisions on, inter alia, a US$450 million replenishment of the MLF for the 2012-2014 period; issues related to exemptions; updating the nomination process and recusal guidelines for the TEAP; the treatment of ODS to service ships; and additional information on alternatives. Delegates also discussed the two proposed amendments to the Protocol to address HFCs, but no agreement was reached.
MOP 24: MOP 24 took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2012 and adopted decisions on, inter alia, the review by the Scientific Assessment Panel of RC-316c; procedural issues related to the TEAP and its subsidiary bodies; and data and compliance issues. MOP 24 did not reach agreement on two draft decisions: the clean production of HCFC-22 through by-product emission control; and amendment of the Protocol to include HFCs.
CURRENT ODS CONTROL SCHEDULES: Under the amendments and adjustments to the Montreal Protocol, non-Article 5 parties were required to phase out production and consumption of: halons by 1994; CFCs, CTCs, hydrobromochlorofluorocarbons and methyl chloroform by 1996; bromochloromethane by 2002; and methyl bromide by 2005. Article 5 parties were required to phase out production and consumption of: hydrobromochlorofluorocarbons by 1996; bromochloromethane by 2002; and CFCs, halons and CTC by 2010. Article 5 parties must still phase out production and consumption of methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by 2015. Under the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs adopted at MOP 19, HCFC production and consumption by non-Article 5 parties was frozen in 2004 and is to be phased out by 2020, while in Article 5 parties, HCFC production and consumption is to be frozen by 2013 and phased out by 2030 (with interim targets prior to those dates, starting in 2015 for Article 5 parties). There are exemptions to these phase-outs to allow for certain uses that lack feasible alternatives.
MOP 25 REPORT
On Monday morning, Chumpon Cheewaprapanunt, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Industrial Works, Thailand, welcomed parties to MOP 25. He emphasized the importance of striking a balance between protecting the environment and meeting the needs of the developing world. He said that additional efforts should be made to fully implement decision XIX/6 (selection of alternatives to HCFCs). On the MLF, he urged parties to fund energy efficiency projects under the 2015-2017 replenishment to maximize climate benefits and highlighted the lack of funding for HCFC production facilities.
Marco González, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, lauded the international community for creating an instrument that “works,” reaches its goal and targets, and has a high level of compliance. He said that 183 parties have submitted data and are in full compliance with the obligations of the Protocol. He noted that the Ozone Secretariat hoped for full ratification of all amendments in 2013, but five parties have yet to ratify them. Outlining topics for discussion during the week, he said that recent statements by the Group of Twenty (G20) and others provide a solid political setting within which the discussion on the phase-down of HFCs can take place.
Patrick McInerney (Australia) and Javier Camargo (Colombia) co-chaired the preparatory segment.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Co-Chair McInerney introduced the provisional agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/1) on Monday morning. Grenada asked that a discussion on staffing issues at the Ozone Secretariat be included under “Other Matters.”
India, supported by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cuba and Libya, called for the agenda item on proposed amendments to the Protocol to be removed. He said that, as HFCs do not fall under the purview of the Montreal Protocol, it is not the correct forum for such a discussion.
The US, with Mexico, the European Union (EU), Burkina Faso, Canada, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Morocco, Kenya and Mozambique, said the proposal has been submitted in good faith and should therefore be discussed. The US expressed frustration that a decision to establish a contact group to discuss the issue has yet to be taken.
Delegates adopted the agenda with Grenada’s proposal.
On Thursday morning, MOP 24 President Raja Hassan Abbas (Pakistan) opened proceedings, lauding parties for their commitment to implementing the Protocol. Noting challenges ahead, including the need for additional information on ODS alternatives, he cautioned against “derailing” the protection of the ozone layer by failing to reach consensus.
Executive Secretary González highlighted the Montreal Protocol as an exemplary model of good governance. He discussed work on phasing out HCFCs and urged delegates to continue striving towards new ways to protect the ozone layer.
Prasert Boonchaisuk, Minister of Industry, Thailand, urged parties to bear the challenges and needs of developing nations in mind during their deliberations and underscored the economic and technological barriers to successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: MOP 25 elected by acclamation Oleksandr Sushko (Ukraine) as MOP 25 President. They also elected Harry Kalaba (Zambia), Italo Cordoba (El Salvador) and Malcolm McKee (New Zealand) as Vice Presidents. Juan Miguel Cuna (Philippines) was elected as rapporteur. Delegates adopted the agenda without amendment.
On the credentials of representatives, Sushko asked delegations to finalize their submissions in order to allow the Secretariat to announce them as scheduled.
PRESENTATIONS BY THE ASSESSMENT PANELS ON THE STATUS OF THEIR WORK, INCLUDING THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: This item was taken up in plenary on Thursday, 24 October, during the HLS. Three panels provided updates on work undertaken in preparation for their 2014 quadrennial assessment reports.
Scientific Assessment Panel: Ayité-Lô Ajavon (Togo) said that the aim of the report is to improve information availability to enhance policy decision-making. He said that the publication is expected to be ready in June 2014, and highlighted the main chapters featured in the report, including updates on, inter alia, ODS and the current state of the global and polar ozone layers. He also noted chapters on stratospheric ozone changes and climate; and a projection of scenarios, information, and options for policymakers.
Environmental Effects Assessment Panel: Nigel Paul (UK) reported on the Panel’s progress toward completing its quadrennial assessment report, scheduled for release in 2014. He said that it will consider key issues, including the effects that changes in UV radiation and ozone depletion have on: physical, biological and environmental processes; human health; crops and terrestrial ecosystems; aquatic ecosystems; global chemical cycling; tropospheric chemistry and air quality; and materials.
Technology and Economic Assessment Panel: Bella Maranion (US) reported on activities leading up to the TEAP 2014 assessment report such as the work of its six Technical Options Committees (TOCs). Regarding methyl bromide phase-out, she explained that Article 5 parties have had difficulty adopting alternatives due to economic challenges. Similarly, technical, regulatory and economic issues persist among non-Article 5 countries in strawberry nurseries and fruit sectors.
PRESENTATION BY THE MLF: During plenary on Thursday, Fiona Walters (UK) shared the MLF’s achievements and future work plans including, inter alia: HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs); HCFC production sector guidelines; HCFC phase-out in China; contributions to the MLF; and the climate impact indicator for ODS phase-out. She noted the appointment of Eduardo Ganem as Chief Officer of the MLF.
STATEMENTS BY HEADS OF DELEGATION: On Thursday and Friday, delegations had the opportunity to address the HLS. A number of delegations, including Bahrain, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, highlighted their progress and challenges faced in implementing the Montreal Protocol. Georgia said that the Montreal Protocol is a uniquely successful treaty due to its mechanisms for implementing obligations at the national level. Mexico said it is submitting highly ambitious Phase II proposals for the phase-out of HCFCs. Namibia reported that it has implemented training programmes to ensure all sectors can handle the transition.
Ecuador said its HPMP represents a “quantum leap” regarding technical and industrial conversion. Malaysia observed that it is on track to achieve HCFC phase-out targets, but that challenges to foam, refrigeration and air conditioning industries persist. South Sudan requested UNEP and other UN implementing agencies to be institutionally strengthened and supported the enlargement of the Protocol’s scope.
Zimbabwe, with Brazil, Mexico and Kenya, urged continued financial and technical support during HCFC phase-out. Tunisia stated that the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was supporting the implementation of its national strategy to phase out ODS, emphasizing the importance of international assistance. Bangladesh said that public-private partnerships have enabled it to be successful in meeting its HCFC phase-out targets. Pakistan, with Cameroon, underscored the challenge of illegal ODS trading. Singapore welcomed technologies that are environmentally feasible, economically viable and technically sound.
Uganda, US, Maldives, Cameroon, Micronesia, Georgia, EU and Ecuador urged that the Protocol address HFC phase-down. China expressed willingness to work with the international community to agree on a multilateral solution to phase down HFCs. Bahrain urged parties not to adopt the HFC-related amendment until more information is available. Indonesia requested clearer information on the legal implications of an HFC phase-down. Fiji cautioned against switching to new technologies “too fast and too early.” Malaysia said that proposals on HFC-related amendments to the Montreal Protocol are not currently appropriate. Cuba cautioned against the Protocol “being distracted from its main tasks.”
The International Institute of Refrigeration recommended further coordination between the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and encouraged the expansion of the use of natural refrigerants, such as hydrocarbons, CO2, ammonia, water and air. Burkina Faso stressed the importance of further involving developing countries in the Montreal Protocol community and stated that the ozone agenda cannot be perceived as an issue only for “rich” countries.
The Federated States of Micronesia underscored the vulnerability of SIDS. Solomon Islands called for a representative from SIDS to be included in the composition of the Executive Committee (ExCom), which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the MLF. Kiribati requested the Secretariat to undertake a study on the economic costs of phasing out ODS in Pacific SIDS, and supported the draft decision on SIDS. Cook Islands requested the costs of safe disposal of replaced ODS for SIDS be taken into account.
A summary of the statements can be found online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol19/enb1999e.html.
REPORT BY THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE PREPARATORY SEGMENT AND CONSIDERATION OF THE DECISIONS RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION: On Friday evening, Co-Chair Camargo provided an overview of the activities of the MOP 25 preparatory segment that had taken place throughout the week. He highlighted the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie evident during the weeklong negotiations.
CLOSING PLENARY: On Friday, Rapporteur Juan Miguel Cuna introduced the compilation of draft decisions UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2/Add.1 agreed on during the preparatory segment. Delegates adopted the draft decisions without amendment. Cuna also introduced the report of the meeting (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.1, UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.1/Add.1 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.1/Add.2). After going through the report paragraph by paragraph, delegates adopted the report with minor amendment.
A number of delegations, the MLF, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), on behalf of the Montreal Protocol implementing agencies, and the Ozone Secretariat praised the work of the outgoing Executive Secretary Marco González emphasizing his resilience, “balanced mind” and readiness to assist parties in moving the ozone agenda forward.
Vice-President Malcolm McKee closed the meeting at 10:00 pm.
MOP 25 OUTCOMES AND DECISIONS
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS: Consideration of membership of the Montreal Protocol bodies for 2014: Co-Chair Camargo introduced this item, on Monday, requesting that parties finalize their nominations for the Montreal Protocol Bureau for 2014 by Wednesday.
Final Decision: In its decisions UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2, XXV/[BB], XXV/[CC] and XXV/[DD], the MOP decides to confirm the positions of Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Italy and Morocco as members of the ImpCom for one further year and to select Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Lebanon and Poland as members of the Committee for a two-year period beginning on 1 January 2014. It also notes the selection of Azra Rogović-Grubić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to serve as President and Elisabetta Scialanca (Italy) to serve as Vice President and Rapporteur of the Committee for one year beginning on 1 January 2014.
The MOP also decides to, inter alia, endorse the selection of Australia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States as members of the ExCom, representing non-Article 5 parties and the selection of China, Comoros, Grenada, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay as members of the ExCom, representing Article 5 parties.
It further decides to endorse the selection of Richard Mwendandu (Kenya) and Patrick McInerney (Australia) as Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in 2014.
Financial reports of the trust funds and budgets for the Montreal Protocol: This item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/4 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/4.Add.1) was taken up in plenary on Monday and Friday. The Budget Committee, chaired by Fiona Walters (UK) and Tumau Faasaoina (Samoa), met throughout the week.
Reporting back on Friday, Walters noted that finalization of the draft decision was delayed pending the outcome of the other contact groups, saying that the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.9) makes provision for holding a workshop at the time of the thirty-fourth OEWG. The decision was forwarded to the HLS.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2/Add.1), the MOP decides to, inter alia:
- approve the revision of the 2013 budget to US$4,744,796 and a budget of US$5,065,460 for 2014;
- approve total contributions from parties of US$4,276,933 for 2013 and 2014, and to note the contributions of $4,276,933 for 2015; and
- reaffirm an operating cash reserve at a level of 15% of the annual budget to be used to meet the final expenditures under the Trust Fund.
ISSUES RELATED TO EXEMPTIONS FROM ARTICLES 2A–2I OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Nominations for essential-use exemptions for 2014 and 2015: Delegates took up this item on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They considered draft decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3, XXV/[A] put forward by the Russian Federation for an essential-use exemption (EUE) of CFC-113 for aerospace uses. They also considered draft decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3, XXV/[B] for EUEs put forward by the Russian Federation and China (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3)
Discussions focused on the use of CFCs for the manufacture of metered-dose inhalers and the recommendations of the TEAP. On their nomination of 235.05 tonnes of CFCs for the manufacture of MDIs, CHINA highlighted the need to ensure the supply of medicine and expressed their willingness to take part in discussions on the issue. The Russian Federation expressed their gratitude to the TEAP for recommending the approval of their request for 212 tonnes of CFCs for the manufacture of MDIs. A contact group was established to further discuss the matter. The TEAP presented a review of additional information on the essential use of CFCs for MDIs by the Russian Federation. Co-Chair Camargo recommended forwarding the draft decision to the HLS for further consideration.
On Wednesday, the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.5) was forwarded to the HLS, where it was adopted.
Final Decision: In decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2, XXV/[EE], the MOP decides to authorize 85 metric tonnes of the production and consumption of CFC-113 for the Russian Federation for EUEs for CFCs in its aerospace industry for 2014.
In decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2, XXV/[FF], the MOP, inter alia, authorizes the levels of production and consumption for 2014 needed to satisfy the essential use of CFCs for MDIs, as specified in the annex to the decision.
Nominations for critical-use exemptions for 2014 and 2015: This item was introduced on Monday by Co-Chair Camargo. The Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) detailed progress made on phasing out methyl bromide, stating that global consumption has fallen from 64,428 tonnes in 1991 to 5,187 tonnes in 2011. Discussing CUEs in strawberry runners, strawberry fruit and dry-cured pork sectors, she reported on the emergency use of methyl bromide at facilities in Canada to control phosphine-resistant pests. Australia said that MBTOC recommendations for its CUEs fall short of its requirements, saying that they are considering alternate chemical usage but that, in the interim, the full methyl bromide quantity is needed.
Canada noted significant regulatory and economic barriers to implementing suitable alternatives to methyl bromide, expressing the concern that alternative chemicals may have deleterious effects, such as contaminating groundwater. The US highlighted its intention to phase out methyl bromide use by 2017, but said that in the interim, methyl bromide is still needed. Switzerland said that, if Australia were to consider a date for methyl bromide phase-out, it would enable parties to look at the CUE figures for 2013 more favorably. A contact group was established to discuss the matter. On Friday, the group presented a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.3/Rev.1), which was forwarded to the HLS where it was adopted.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2/Add.1), MOP 25 decides, inter alia:
- to request that Australia submit, by the thirty-sixth OEWG, results of its research programme for the TEAP’s consideration;
- to request that Canada submit, by the thirty-sixth OEWG, results of its assessment of the impact of chloropicrin on groundwater for the TEAP’s consideration;
- to consider approving a critical use nomination for the US California strawberry sector in 2014 and to approve sufficient methyl bromide for use in 2016 to enable this sector to complete its intended transition out of critical uses for methyl bromide by the end of 2016;
- to permit, for the agreed critical-use categories for 2015 set forth in the annex, the levels of production and consumption for 2015 necessary to satisfy critical uses; and
- to request the TEAP to ensure that its consideration of nominations analyze the impact of national, subnational and local regulations and law on the potential use of methyl bromide alternatives and to include a description of the analysis in the critical-use nomination report.
Handbook on critical-use nominations for methyl bromide: On Monday, Co-Chair Camargo opened the floor to discuss finalization of the handbook. The EU requested time to ensure that the handbook is correct and questioned whether a formal decision on its finalization is required. The US observed that some issues highlighted during MOP 24 and OEWG 33 have not been addressed, including the MBTOC’s interpretation of economic guidelines. Informal discussions took place to resolve the matter.
On Wednesday, during the report back to plenary, the EU noted that more time was needed to assess if the MBTOC had incorporated all the concerns raised by parties. He also reiterated that the process for finalizing the handbook should be as informal as possible. On Friday, the US noted that all concerns had been addressed and no further work was necessary.
Final Decision: Parties at MOP 25 were satisfied with the handbook in its current format and agreed that no further amendments or work is currently necessary.
Uses of controlled substances as process agents: On Monday, Co-Chair Camargo introduced this agenda item. He noted that at OEWG 33 parties requested the TEAP to clarify whether CTC is used in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer. Ian Rae, Chemicals TOC, said that it is not used in vinyl chloride monomer production in North America, but is rather a by-product of the manufacturing process. Upon a request from India for clarification, Rae said that it is possible for it to be used as a feedstock, should the manufacturer choose to do so.
Final Decision: No further discussion on the topic is needed.
FINAL REPORT BY THE TEAP ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ALTERNATIVES TO OZONE-DEPLETING SUBSTANCES: Co-Chair McInerney introduced this item during plenary on Monday. The TEAP reported on the task force that was established at OEWG 33 to finalize the report. He noted that the report looked at the status of low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives to HCFCs and HFCs in, among others, the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, the foam sector, the aviation sector, and in the solvent sector. He said that the report had been restructured to, inter alia: be forward looking, address barriers to progress, and highlight specific regional issues.
Delegates asked for, inter alia, the percentage of HCFCs being replaced by high-GWP alternatives; a regional breakdown of penetration rates of HCFC alternatives; the impact of blended ODS alternatives on the performance of the products and processes that they are used in; and how the TEAP’s analysis of obstacles differentiated between developed and developing countries. Iraq said that there are few alternatives to ODS in countries with high ambient temperatures. The EU said that the TEAP report does not always reflect gains from natural refrigeration, while Canada underscored the potential climate benefits of switching to low-GWP alternatives.
On Tuesday, the EU introduced a draft proposal (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.4) that requests the TEAP to establish a temporary subsidiary body to assess and prepare a report for consideration by OEWG 34 on, inter alia, the economic costs and benefits of various scenarios for the global phase-down of the production and consumption of HFCs.
Proponents of the EU’s proposal supported establishing a contact group. Arguments for the contact group focused on the value that additional research and analysis would add to deliberations on HFCs, with many noting that the additional information will allow for a more informed decision on HFCs, particularly as there had been multiple requests for more information on ODS alternatives during discussions on proposed amendments to the Montreal Protocol. India noted that it would be acceptable for the TEAP to provide an assessment of ODS alternatives, but that this should not include HFCs. A contact group was established to consider the proposals.
During the final session of the preparatory segment, Australia reported that a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.10) was agreed. There were no comments from the floor and the decision was forwarded to the HLS, where it was adopted.
Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.10), the MOP requests that the TEAP establish a temporary subsidiary body to prepare a report for consideration by OEWG 34 and an updated report for submission to MOP 26 that would, among others:
- update information on ODS alternatives, differentiating between Article 5 and non-Article 5 parties and considering regional differences;
- estimate current and future demand for ODS alternatives;
- assess the economic costs and implications and environmental benefits of various scenarios of avoiding high-GWP ODS alternatives;
- convene a workshop in tandem with OEWG 34 to continue discussions on HFC management; and
- request the ExCom of the MLF to use the information provided in the report with a view to considering whether additional demonstration projects on low-GWP alternatives and technologies would be useful to HCFC phase-out.
ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE TEAP: Co-Chair McInerney introduced this agenda item on Monday.
Operation and organization of the Panel: Australia reported that decision was ready to be forwarded to the HLS.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2,XXV[FF]), MOP 25 requests the TEAP to provide the following information in its 2014 progress report:
- an update on its processes for nominating members to its TOCs;
- the proposed configuration of the TOCs from 1 January 2015; and
- options, if appropriate, to streamline the TEAP’s annual technology updates to the parties.
Status of membership of the Panel and its TOCs: Following consideration by parties, the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.1/Rev.2) was forwarded to the HLS.
Final Decision: The decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.1/Rev.2) endorses the reappointments of several TEAP experts, including: Helen Tope (Australia) as Co-Chair of the Medical Technical Options Committee (TOC); Ian Porter (Australia), Marta Pizano (Colombia) and Mohamed Besri (Morocco) as Co-Chairs of the Methyl Bromide TOC; Roberto Peixoto (Brazil) as Co-Chair of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps TOC; Miguel Wenceslao Quintero (Colombia) as Co-Chair of the Flexible and Rigid Foams TOC; Sergey Kopylov (Russian Federation) as Co-Chair of the Halons TOC; Shiqiu Zhang (China) as a senior expert member; and Jianjun Zhang (China) as Co-Chair of the Chemicals TOC.
All appointments are for a period of two years.
ISSUES RELATED TO FUNDING: Additional funding for the MLF for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol to maximize the climate benefit of the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs: This item was introduced on Monday by Co-Chair McInerney and addressed throughout the week.
During plenary discussions on Monday, parties addressed their concerns. China cautioned that additional funding will need to be managed in an integrated manner. Switzerland said that the proposal expands the MLF’s scope. Others cautioned against duplication of work. Discussions continued in a contact group.
Final Decision: Parties did not manage to reach agreement and this agenda item will be discussed at OEWG 34.
Funding of production facilities for HCFCs: Co-Chair Camargo introduced this item on Tuesday. India said that the proposal has been submitted to confirm the intent of decision XIX/6 (adjustments to the Montreal Protocol with regard to HCFCs) to have the MLF provide stable and sufficient funding for Article 5 countries to meet the incremental costs of complying with the accelerated phase-out schedule for HCFCs. He noted that it also urges the MLF ExCom to, inter alia: finalize and approve the funding of HCFC production facilities; and consider any proactive regulatory actions taken by parties to restrict HCFC production ahead of the scheduled phase-out. A contact group was established to discuss this matter.
On Wednesday, reporting back to plenary, parties noted no consensus could be reached. India said that although it had sought clarity on the decision, this had not been achieved, so it has to address its request to the Secretariat under Article 8 (non-compliance) of the Protocol in order to avoid non-compliance in the production sector.
Final Decision: As parties did not reach consensus, India will take up the matter with the Secretariat.
Terms of reference for the study on the 2015-2017 replenishment of the MLF: This item was introduced on Tuesday by Co-Chair McInerney, who established a contact group to discuss the matter. Discussions in the contact group took place from Tuesday to Friday. On Friday, delegates agreed to forward the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.11) to the HLS, where it was adopted.
Final Decision:In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.11), MOP 25 requests the TEAP to prepare a report to be presented on the occasion of MOP 26, which includes:
- a discussion on the special funding needs of low‑volume and very-low-volume-consuming countries as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises;
- evaluation of the needs of Article 5 countries to maintain compliance with Articles 2A–2E, 2G and 2I of the Protocol;
- appropriate division of funding related to the 2020 target;
- rules and guidelines for determining eligibility for funding investment projects and non-investment projects; and
- the need to allocate sufficient resources for Stage II of HPMPs through technical assistance.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL WITH REGARD TO SIDS: Co-Chair Camargo introduced draft decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3, XXV[I] on Tuesday, where a contact group was established to further consider the phase-out of ODS in SIDS in light of next year’s 3rd International Conference on SIDS (also known as the Apia Conference). Contact group discussions took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Initial discussion focused on the mandate of the Montreal Protocol, with Brazil, supported by India, arguing that approval of the SIDS draft decision would exceed the mandate of the Protocol. Proponents of the draft decision, led by St. Lucia, supported by Cook Islands, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago said they were open to compromise through further discussion. Australia acknowledged the special case of SIDS but said that it was not certain regarding the appropriateness of addressing ODS issues at the Apia Conference as suggested in the draft decision. A contact group met in the evening to negotiate the text (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.7).
The draft decision was presented in plenary on Wednesday morning, where parties agreed to forward the decision to the HLS for its consideration.
On Wednesday afternoon Co-Chair Camargo presented a non-substantive change to the draft decision. India explained that due to scheduling conflicts, it could not attend the contact group and as it was not privy to the discussion, it could not support forwarding the decision to the HLS.
Saint Lucia, the US, the EU, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, Canada and others objected to reopening the draft decision for negotiation, saying that such an “un-approval” meant a “process breakdown.”
Co-Chair Camargo informed delegates that the decision would indeed be forwarded to the HLS for consideration, where it was later adopted.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.7), the MOP requests the Secretariat to liaise with the organizers of the Apia Conference to promote discussion on implementation challenges among SIDS with regard to the Montreal Protocol.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Co-Chair McInerney introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3, XXV[J]; UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/5, UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/6) in plenary on Tuesday. It was also considered on three occasions in a discussion group co-chaired by Gudi Alkemade (the Netherlands) and Leslie Smith (Grenada). Debate in plenary centered on whether or not to establish a contract group to address the proposed amendments. Delegates also addressed whether the Montreal Protocol had a mandate to consider HFCs. During the discussion group sessions, which met from Tuesday to Thursday, parties focused on the technological, financial and legal aspects of the management of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.
On Tuesday, in plenary, the US, for Canada and Mexico, outlined their proposal to phase down HFC production and consumption. He observed that: since HFCs are replacements for HCFCs and CFCs, they could be discussed under the Montreal Protocol; the Protocol has a track record of success; and the Protocol is the only instrument with universal ratification. He noted that it was clear that HFCs would continue to be included under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol for the purposes of accounting and reporting of emissions and supported establishing a contact group to consider the proposal.
The ensuing debate focused on whether or not to establish a contact group to consider the amendments proposed by the US, Canada, Mexico and the Federated States of Micronesia. Japan, Ethiopia, for the African Group, Macedonia, for the Regional Ozone Network for Europe and Central Asia, the EU, Bangladesh, Samoa, Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Côte d’Ivoire, New Zealand and Australia called for establishing a contact group.
Mexico, with the US and Canada, clarified that a contact group to discuss the proposed amendments would not result in the negotiation or adoption of amendments, but would serve to resolve questions and uncertainties surrounding the proposal.
Malaysia called for more time to consider the proposed amendments without establishing a contact group, drawing attention to the lack of proven alternatives, particularly for high ambient temperature countries. Fiji said that the amendments could not be considered until economically- and technically-feasible alternatives to HFCs are available.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Venezuela, Oman, Kuwait, Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and China opposed establishing a contact group. Cuba and India said that since HFCs are greenhouse gases and not ODS, they do not fall under the remit of the Montreal Protocol.
South Africa questioned whether the amendment would imply exclusion of HFCs under the UNFCCC since the Montreal Protocol should not overstep the UNFCCC’s mandate. He also noted the need to clarify how Article 5 countries would be assisted. With respect to HFCs, he said that if legally binding targets are accepted under the Montreal Protocol, new sources of funding and technological alternatives must be clearly identified.
After consultations, parties agreed to reform the discussion group that was established during OEWG 33. Co-Chair McInerney clarified that the mandate provided by the OEWG was to continue the discussions on issues regarding the management of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and its mechanisms, without prejudging the decisions under the UNFCCC. He noted topics to address include:
- issues on managing HFCs using the Montreal Protocol and its mechanisms, including legal, technical and financial aspects;
- possible processes to address the legal, technical and financial aspects;
- identifying options to establish a relationship between the UNFCCC and the Montreal Protocol; and
- further progress in the discussion, including consideration of the outcomes from recent international fora.
McInerney asked that the discussion group report on the outcomes of the discussions to the plenary, including on options to progress the discussion in 2014, to be reflected in the report to the MOP 25.
On technical aspects, the US mentioned the work of the International Organization for Standardization and other standard setting bodies and stressed the importance of safe alternatives to HFCs. The EU called for focusing on, inter alia: the availability of alternatives for refrigerants; emission reduction by containment measures; and maintenance, skilled installation and training. He also highlighted the utility of district cooling in urban areas. India noted that district cooling was not a priority in regions where basic needs have yet to be met.
On high ambient temperature regions, China supported further work by the TEAP on low-GWP alternatives. She highlighted hydrocarbon as an effective refrigerant, noting differing opinions on this technology and the need to address service sector challenges. She added that for high ambient temperature regions, hydrocarbon is viable, but only with a recognized standard.
The US presented a US Environmental Protection Agency preliminary analysis on reducing HFC consumption in the US. He illustrated how the challenges of the availability of alternatives could be addressed in a phase-down schedule that would take into account the alternatives available for different sectors and subsectors. He said that this would also provide a signal to the market to develop new alternatives. He also highlighted that a phase-down approach under the Montreal Protocol and its mechanisms could provide a delayed schedule for Article 5 parties, as well as financial support from the MLF to assist parties in technology conversion, and that the main technical challenges of conversion to alternatives appear to be in the air conditioning sector.
On the financial aspects, China highlighted concerns with the policies and procedures of the MLF. India observed that full funding is required to phase down HFCs, since industry will not agree to phase down HFC consumption and production if compensation is provided on an incremental cost basis.
The US acknowledged concerns on the adequacy of funding under the MLF, stating that replenishment negotiations are, by their nature, contentious. He observed that the current contribution of HFCs to global warming is relatively small but growing rapidly, which could significantly offset progress made in other areas of climate change mitigation. He maintained that it would be useful to request the TEAP to prepare an assessment of financing required for HFC phase-down.
On legal aspects, the US, citing Article 2 of the Vienna Convention, pointed out that the proposed amendment supports the climate change regime and that the Rio+20 outcome document endorses a gradual phase-down of the consumption and production of HFCs.
The EU stressed that political will is required for phasing down HFCs through workshops and additional sessions of the OEWG in the future. China said legal issues are crucial and need to be resolved. She also asserted that the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol should send a clear message to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs. Mexico proposed a joint Montreal Protocol/UNFCCC working group to consider cross-cutting issues.
Co-Chair Alkemade reported on the discussion group deliberations to the preparatory segment plenary on Friday. She observed that with regard to the technical challenges of using alternatives in high population density urban areas and high ambient temperature areas as well as availability of alternatives in different sectors and subsectors, parties had proposed requesting the TEAP to further study and provide information to the parties, taking into account their specific circumstances. Topics identified include:
- variations in the availability of alternatives in sectors and subsectors;
- equipment design and its cost implications for addressing technical challenges in order to assist parties in selecting alternatives;
- updates on the availability of alternatives, including in regions with high ambient temperatures;
- identification of safe, economically viable, environmentally friendly, technically-proven alternatives for ODS and HFCs;
- addressing energy efficiency of alternatives to ODS and HFCs; and
- suggesting an in-depth study by the TEAP on alternatives available in the air conditioning sector that meet requirements with regard to flammability, toxicity and costs of those alternatives.
Alkemade noted that parties highlighted the importance of recognizing: different strategies for the management of HFCs, including measures for containment, conversion to alternatives and equipment design; and the challenges of different parties with regard to the availability of climate-friendly alternatives, depending on their national circumstances, and the importance of being able to select from a variety of technologies. She also noted the proposal for information sharing among parties on the availability of HFC alternatives, domestic experiences with management of HFCs and relevant international initiatives, such as bilateral cooperation, regional cooperation and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Other issues discussed included, inter alia:
- the need for further consideration and possible revision of international standards for low-GWP technologies that ensure safety, particularly for hydrocarbon technology;
- the need to discuss how issues related to evaluation and transparency of these standards can be addressed;
- training on servicing and safety regarding low-GWP alternatives in the service sector of Stage II of HPMPs;
- encouraging the ExCom to approve further MLF demonstration projects to test potential low-GWP technologies; and
- beginning a focused and more in-depth discussion of the information on alternatives provided by the TEAP in the context of an additional OEWG meeting in 2014 addressing the technical, financial and legal aspects of HFCs management, and a workshop on the margins of the OEWG in 2014; and
- organizing regional workshops on the availability of ODS alternatives.
On financial aspects, Alkemade reported that the group had discussed:
- how a phase-down approach under the Montreal Protocol could provide technical and financial assistance to Article 5 parties, building on the institutions and experience of the MLF;
- how a phase-down approach could address both the production and consumption of HFCs as alternatives to HCFCs as well as production and consumption of HFCs not related to the phasing out HCFCs under the Montreal Protocol;
- how using the Montreal Protocol and the MLF to phase down HFCs would support the G20 statement and the objective of UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol;
- the extent to which the MLF contributes to updating technologies, building capacity and improving the performance and efficiency of equipment and production processes;
- the possibility of providing financial assistance through the provisions of the UNFCCC for emissions of HFCs; and
- the suitability of the Montreal Protocol and its financial mechanism to address intentionally produced substances such as HFCs through production and consumption controls, compared to climate-related financial mechanisms that address emissions.
Alkemade reported that parties identified the need to address issues related to the financial mechanism for a phase-down approach under the Montreal Protocol for the management of HFCs, including on the coordination between the MOP and the ExCom, technology transfer and patents, liability costs and the difference between the actual costs and the incremental costs of conversion to low-GWP alternatives in light of the difference between an HFC phase-down and an ODS phase-out. The adequacy of funds provided for institutional strengthening and HCFC phase-out was highlighted as well as the capability of non-Article 5 parties to provide additional funding to the MLF for an HFC phase-down approach under the Montreal Protocol. She said that parties also discussed the extent to which the policies of the MLF need to be revised with a view to providing sufficient funding for an HFC phase-down, including policies on baselines, cut-off dates, second conversions, eligibility, and export to Article 2 parties.
Parties proposed options to move discussions forward on financial aspects in 2014, including:
• discussing a comprehensive financial mechanism, taking into account the experience of the MLF;
• agreeing to request the TEAP to provide (e.g., in the Replenishment Study) estimates on the additional costs and environmental benefits of a scenario for an HFC phase-down approach under the Montreal Protocol, taking into account the specific circumstances and challenges of Article 5 parties as a basis for further discussion; and
• organizing an extraordinary session between the OEWG and the MOP to be able to address the issues raised by various parties.
On legal aspects, Alkemade noted that the link between the UNFCCC and the Montreal Protocol, as well as options to progress discussions had been addressed. She observed that some parties noted the effect of Article 3 on the US, Mexico and Canada amendment proposal, which states that the amendment would not exempt HFCs from the coverage of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, while other parties noted Kyoto Protocol Article 2.5.7, which excludes substances that are controlled under the Montreal Protocol.
Parties also addressed, among other things, the extent to which a phase-down approach using the Montreal Protocol to manage HFCs is complementary to the objectives of the UNFCCC and the view of some parties that efforts should be made to harmonize legal texts. Some options to advance the discussions in 2014 were proposed, including:
- encouraging cooperation between the Montreal Protocol, the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol;
- organizing a joint UNFCCC/Montreal Protocol workshop to address cross-cutting issues, for example before OEWG 34; and
- to set aside more time in Montreal Protocol meetings for focused discussions on issues related to the technical and financial aspects of a phase-down approach to manage HFCs using the Montreal Protocol and its mechanisms, including in workshops and an additional OEWG meeting.
HARMONIZATION AND VALIDATION OF THE MULTILATERAL FUND CLIMATE IMPACT INDICATOR: Co-Chair Camargo introduced this agenda item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3 XXV[K]) on Tuesday. On Friday, Uruguay noted insufficient time to consult on the issue, and that it will be proposed at a later meeting. This item will be reconsidered at a later date.
STATUS OF RATIFICATION OF THE MONTREAL AND BEIJING AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: During the HLS on Thursday MOP 25 President Sushko congratulated all new members that have ratified the Montreal Protocol and its amendments (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/3, XXV[AA]), including: Kazakhstan (Beijing Amendment); Mauritania (Beijing Amendment); Libya (Montreal and Beijing Amendments); and Saudi Arabia (Montreal and Beijing Amendments).
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2), MOP 25 notes: the large number of countries that have ratified the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol; that, as at 25 October 2013, 194 parties had ratified the Montreal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol; and 192 parties had ratified the Beijing Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. It also urges all states that have not yet done so to ratify, approve or accede to the amendments, taking into account that universal participation is necessary to ensure the protection of the ozone layer.
DATA AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE PARTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 7 OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Co-Chair Camargo introduced this item on Tuesday. Janusz Kozakiewicz, ImpCom President, provided information on non-compliance issues for three countries: Azerbaijan on HCFC phase-out; France on HCFC production control measures; and Kazakhstan on excess HCFC and methyl bromide consumption. He said that 188 of 197 parties have reported production and consumption data for 2012, representing 95% of parties, and urged that the nine outstanding national reports be submitted as soon as possible. On licensing systems, he requested that Botswana and South Sudan establish systems consistent with Article 4(b) (licensing the import and export of new, used, recycled and reclaimed controlled substances).
Kazakhstan assured parties that it would ratify the Beijing Amendment by the end of 2013 and provide a response to its excess HCFC and methyl bromide consumption by March 2014. Yemen said the security situation in her country has hindered data gathering and reporting. Jordan and Kuwait assured parties that their data would be reported during the week.
The recommendations of the ImpCom were forwarded to the HLS for further consideration. The decisions were adopted in the closing plenary on Friday.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[II]) on non-compliance with the Montreal Protocol by Azerbaijan, MOP 25 decides that no further action is necessary to return Azerbaijan to compliance with the HCFC phase-out in 2012 and its implementation of regulatory, administrative and technical measures to ensure compliance with the Protocol’s control measures for HCFCs. It also urges Azerbaijan to work with the relevant implementing agencies to implement its plan of action for HCFC consumption.
In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[JJ]) on non-compliance with the Montreal Protocol by France, the MOP:
- notes that no further action is necessary in implementing regulatory and administrative measures to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Protocol governing production of HCFCs for subsequent years; and
- cautions France, in accordance with Item B of the indicative list of measures, that, in the event that it fails to return to compliance in a timely manner, the MOP will consider measures consistent with Item C of the indicative list of measures.
In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[KK]) on non-compliance with the Montreal Protocol by Kazakhstan, the MOP:
- requests Kazakhstan to submit to the Secretariat, by 31 March 2014, an explanation for its excess consumption and details of the management systems that had failed to prevent the excess consumption, together with a plan of action with time-specific benchmarks to ensure the party’s return to compliance with its HCFC and methyl bromide obligations; and
- cautions Kazakhstan, in accordance with Item B of the indicative list of measures, that, in the event that it fails to return to compliance in a timely manner, the MOP will consider measures consistent with Item C of the indicative list of measures, which may include the possibility of actions available under Article 4, such as ensuring that the supply of HCFCs and methyl bromide is ceased so that exporting parties are not contributing to a continuing situation of non-compliance.
In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[LL]) on the request for revising baseline data by the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Saint Lucia, the MOP: notes that the respective parties have presented sufficient information to justify their requests for revising their consumption data for HCFCs for 2009, 2010 or both; and approves the requests of the parties to revise their baseline HCFC consumption data for those years.
In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[MM]) on data and information provided by the parties in accordance with Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol the MOP:
- urges the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Gabon, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Sudan, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Uzbekistan and Yemen, where appropriate, to work closely with the implementing agencies to report the required data as a matter of urgency;
- requests the ImpCom to review the situation of those parties at its 52nd meeting; and
- encourages parties to continue to report consumption and production data as soon as figures are available, and preferably by 30 June each year.
In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro/25[NN]) on the status of the establishment of licensing systems under Article 4(b) of the Montreal Protocol, the MOP requests Botswana and South Sudan to establish an import and export licensing system for ozone-depleting substances consistent with Article 4(b) of the Protocol and to report to the Secretariat by 31 March 2014 on the establishment of that system.
DATES AND VENUE FOR THE TWENTY-SIXTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: On Friday evening, Executive Secretary González introduced this item, saying that no party has expressed interest to host the twenty-sixth session of the MOP. He said that in the absence of a suitable offer, the Secretariat has made provision for the meeting to be held at a suitable UN venue in November 2014.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2/Add.1) MOP 25 decides to convene the twenty-sixth MOP at the seat of the Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya, or at any other UN venue, in November 2014.
Other matters: Staffing Issues at the Ozone Secretariat: On Tuesday Co-Chair McInerney introduced this item. Grenada, the proponent of the discussion, said that there was a need to address vacancies in the Secretariat, including that of the position of Executive Secretary. Switzerland highlighted, among others, the need to define when the next Executive Secretary will take office. A contact group was established to further consider these matters.
On Wednesday morning, in plenary, Co-Chair McInerney asked the Ozone Secretariat to provide information on staffing. Executive Secretary González said that Tina Birbili (Greece) will take up the position of Executive Secretary in November 2013. Switzerland asked for information on an appointment for the post of deputy Executive Secretary. González responded that the internal review process is complete and the final decision will be made by the UNEP Executive Director by the end of the year.
Following the afternoon’s contact group discussions, delegates noted that no further assistance on staffing is needed by the Secretariat.
Reclassification of Croatia: On Monday, the EU, on behalf of Croatia, requested consideration of a request that Croatia be reclassified as an Article 2 country following its accession to the EU. On Tuesday, the EU introduced its draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/CRP.6) requesting Croatia’s reclassification. The draft decision was forwarded to the HLS for consideration, where it was adopted.
Final Decision: In Decision XXV/[OO] in document UNEP/OzL.Pro.25/L.2, MOP 25 decides to approve Croatia’s request to be removed from the list of Article 5 countries and approve its request, noting that Croatia shall assume the obligation of a non- Article 5 party beginning 1 January 2014.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF MOP 25
NOT SO GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Arriving in balmy Bangkok for MOP 25, Montreal Protocol delegates found themselves once again navigating familiar territory just four months after saying goodbye at the closure of a relatively successful OEWG 33 meeting. This time around delegates expected to build on those small victories—HFC management was discussed in a more formal setting for the first time—and forge a path towards a final decision on a Protocol amendment to phase down HFCs. Hammering out the details of a study for the next MLF replenishment, vital for providing funds to implement the Montreal Protocol, was also very much on the minds of many participants.
The IPCC Working Group I (physical science) contribution to the IPCC fifth assessment report, released at the end of September, was the backdrop for discussion on HFCs. It highlighted that “continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
And yet, parties in Bangkok were unable to move discussions on the Protocol amendments up a notch and into an open-ended contact group. As a result, they continued the debates using the June format of an informal discussion. In spite of this, many delegates characterized the engagement and outcome as “constructive.”
On the replenishment, parties agreed to task the TEAP with preparing a study to evaluate the requirements for the 2015-2017 replenishment of the MLF. According to one delegate, this represented a slight victory for some developing countries, which strongly emphasized the need for stable, continuous funding to comply with the ongoing commitments and potential increase in the Protocol’s scope. In this context, the previous year’s 25th anniversary celebrations, during which the Protocol had been feted so jubilantly, were already receding from memory. Many delegates acknowledged the Protocol’s unique and substantial achievements, but noted that continued production and consumption of high-GWP HFCs, which were introduced by the Protocol, threaten to eclipse its triumphs.
This analysis will examine MOP 25 in the context of the proposed Montreal Protocol amendments, replenishment of the MLF, and synergies with the UNFCCC and other multilateral forums.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL AMENDMENTS - A BLEAK HOUSE?
Those observers who traveled to Bangkok in anticipation of a discussion on Protocol amendments taking center stage were not disappointed. Positions remained sharply divided. Those who supported the amendment proposals from the US, Mexico and Canada and the Federation States of Micronesia requested the establishment of an open-ended contact group. Those against the proposals raised legal, technical and financial arguments to defend their positions on why HFCs should not be included within the scope of the Protocol as they have done in previous meetings. They maintained that the debate on HFCs should be carried out informally, as it has been over the last five years.
Behind this apparent paradox and intransigence from some developing countries, what is at stake are deep concerns about the availability and cost of alternatives to HFCs. Countries like India, for instance, have made the switch from HCFCs to HFCs, only to be told they must move on again. Using the air conditioning sector as an example, one developing country delegate explained that in regions with high ambient temperatures for up to ten months of the year, switching to unproven HFC substitutes would be a huge leap of faith and may have potential catastrophic economic and social consequences. Furthermore, non-Article 5 countries have reached saturation in terms of growth in the HFC sector domestically and are therefore poised to move onto the next generation of HFC substitutes. These countries also have complementary, budding industries at the cusp of this new technology, waiting in the wings. For developing countries this is not the case and so what is needed he said, is a “recalibration of the current dialogue to encompass the concept of a “limited phase up of HFCs,” instead of expecting Article 5 countries to “leapfrog” from HCFCs into the uncharted waters of the next generation HFC substitutes, while at the same time grappling with pressing economic and developmental challenges on their doorstep.
Interestingly, HFCs only account for approximately 0.7% of the greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC, a fact that India was quick to point out. The US and Canada rebutted this argument by maintaining that this figure is rising rapidly and will have damaging consequences for the climate system if growth in HFCs is left unchecked. It is widely known that, in the future, rising HFC emissions are likely to come from emerging economies. Additionally, as HFCs were created as substitutes for ODS, parties have, according to some, a “moral” duty to address this issue under the Montreal Protocol—an international agreement that is often praised for its successful implementation and universal membership. What troubles several Article 5 parties, however, is that the US has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, Canada has withdrawn from it, and the new Australian administration has emphatically down-listed climate change mitigation from its priorities. The commitment of non-Article 5 parties towards combating climate change has repeatedly been called into question in the context of the slow pace of negotiations under the UNFCCC. As several delegates decried, “we are being asked to take on climate change mitigation commitments under the Montreal Protocol, where there is no mandate to do so, while these non-Article 5 countries refuse to act under the UNFCCC.”
Nevertheless, the informal discussion group format provided a secure environment for parties to air their views and concerns. It also served to clarify and request additional information on the identification of safe, economically viable, environmentally friendly, technically proven alternatives for ODS and HFCs. However, parties left with the impression that the HFC amendment is still a long way off and there are many battles left to be fought. As a delegate recalled, “you can’t do the same thing year after year, and expect a different result.” On this note, one proponent of the amendment suggested changing negotiation tactics and discussing HFCs in terms of a “freeze” in consumption rather than a “phase-down” because it changes the focus from reducing consumption to limiting growth in HFCs. This would “simplify negotiations” and also emulate the earlier Montreal Protocol controls, which used similar reasoning.
Moreover, some delegates emphasized that the main outcome of MOP 25 was the agreement for the TEAP to start a focused and more in-depth discussion on HFC alternatives, since the TEAP report would aim to address the technical, financial and legal aspects of management of HFCs using the Montreal Protocol and its mechanisms. There was also an agreement to host a workshop in the margins of the OEWG in 2014 related to HFCs. As one observer mused, “dialogue is a priority now to see how we can bridge our differences, rather than re-tabling the same amendment proposals year after year.”
THE MLF – OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Finance featured prominently in discussions on the cost of alternatives for HFCs and the need for financial assistance for Article 5 countries to meet their obligations under the Montreal Protocol. MOP 25 was expected to and did finalize the terms of reference for a TEAP study to evaluate the requirements for the 2015-2017 replenishment of the MLF, which will provide the basis for a decision on the replenishment of the MLF at MOP 26 in 2014. The decision includes a discussion on the special funding needs of low volume and very-low-volume-consuming countries as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to the rules and guidelines for determining eligibility for funding investment projects and non-investment projects.
The adequacy and certainty of funding was questioned by many delegations, as is typical in multilateral processes. It was acknowledged that previous replenishment discussions had been acrimonious and sufficient funding was required to meet the needs of Article 5 parties. India drew attention to the fact that funding for HFC phase-down would have to be “full,” not just “incremental,” since the Montreal Protocol cannot impose obligations for industry to mitigate GHGs such as HFCs, precisely because they are not ODS, thus they will not agree to bear this burden without financial assistance.
A Swiss draft decision on additional funding for the MLF to maximize the climate benefits of an accelerated phase-out of HCFCs appeared to be a panacea for addressing the funding woes under the MLF. However, no decision on this was forwarded to the HLS. Commenting on this, an observer said: “as has been the previous practice, any decision related to the Montreal Protocol amendment never sees the light of day. In addition, many also called for revisiting the MLF policy issues in parallel with the replenishment discussions to facilitate easier financial transfer to recipient countries and alleviate frustrations experienced when dealing with the Fund.
What is clear is that, without a sizable chunk of money on the table and assurance that finance will be stable and accessible, amendment detractors are unlikely to experience a change of heart. The challenge is to carefully craft the terms of reference for the TEAP study to ensure that they encapsulate the needs of developing countries and that they are also palatable for non-Article 5 countries.
SYNERGIES - A TALE OF TWO PROTOCOLS
Despite the linkages between the HFC issue and the UNFCCC, there is no formal relationship between the two agreements. During the last few years a circuitous argument has evolved over which entity has the mandate to address HFCs. What emerged in Bangkok though, is that many are looking for a more formalized procedure to address the issue, with Mexico going as far as to propose a joint Montreal Protocol/UNFCCC working group. Others would like to see the UNFCCC signal, via decision text, that the Montreal Protocol should address HFCs in the context of a phase-down approach.
Although HFCs are not a key issue under the UNFCCC, they have been addressed under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP), the UNFCCC subsidiary body tasked with negotiating a new climate treaty by 2015. These discussions take place in the context of the so-called ADP Workstream 2, which looks at ways to enhance pre-2020 climate action (i.e., action before the new climate agreement enters into force; this relates to the considerable gap between the existing climate policies and those needed by 2020 to limit temperature increase to below 2°C). Under the UNFCCC, the EU has been particularly active with respect to HFCs, saying these should be addressed both under the UNFCCC and the Montreal Protocol. However, India and more recently others in the coalition of Like-Minded Developing Countries, including China, the Arab Group, and Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, oppose addressing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol
The recent G20 leaders’ summit in St. Petersburg also released a statement in which the G20 expressed support for “complementary initiatives, through multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and the institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, based on the examination of economically viable and technically feasible alternatives.” They also agreed to “continue to include HFCs within the scope of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions.” Although India signed the statement in St. Petersburg, it took a contrary position at MOP 25.
During bilateral discussions between the US and China in September 2013, on the margins of the G20 summit, President Obama and President Xi agreed to, as a next step on HFCs, establish a contact group under the Montreal Protocol for considering issues related to cost-effectiveness, financial and technological support, safety, environmental benefits, and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Previously, China opposed addressing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Some observers wryly suggested that China has softened its position because it sees potential in the HFC-substitute sector, possibly using hydrocarbon technology as a likely replacement. It should be recalled that China has always been quick to realize such opportunities, as the initially successful experience with solar photovoltaic technology in the renewable energy sector suggests.
What all this shows is that there is momentum building beyond the borders of the Montreal Protocol and the push to address HFCs might well come from outside the process. As the EU suggested, the real challenge is galvanizing the requisite political will to address the issue of HFCs.
“PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE SOME MORE? (TRUST AND ASSURANCES)”
In spite of the odds, MOP 25 indicated that the HFC issue is not insurmountable. The main requirement for progress may be an enabling environment wherein there is certainty and assurances for all parties. There is also a need to interpret the mandate of the Montreal Protocol less strictly, so that parties agree that it can consider a non-ODS like HFCs.
When looking at the divide between non-Article 5 and Article 5 countries, the “chicken or the egg?” dilemma quickly emerges. The market for ODS alternatives needs a signal from the Protocol before low-GWP alternatives to HFCs can be scaled-up and rolled out. Conversely, the MOP is not about to send such a signal with a lack of viable low-GWP alternatives, since doing so, detractors argue, could spell disaster for large swathes of their economies that depend on HFCs. To break the stalemate, at some point, parties will have the hard task to pick which comes first, the “chicken” or the “egg.”
Continued assurances on technology and financing may help to further thaw positions. The Montreal Protocol has succeeded, among other reasons, because of trust. On this, the fact that Executive Secretary Marco González is retiring left parties thinking of the “successful” pathway of the Montreal Protocol since its creation. In the closing session, numerous parties warmly congratulated González for his “outstanding” work. Maintaining trust among all members of the “Ozone family” as it prepares for a leap of faith towards a new phase under the Montreal Protocol will be important towards moving the agenda forward.
45th Meeting of the GEF Council: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council will meet to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF’s focal areas. Among the topics for discussion at the 45th meeting are guidelines for enabling the activities of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. A consultation with civil society will take place on Monday, and the GEF Council meeting will open on Tuesday. dates: 4-7 November 2013 location: Washington D.C., US contact: GEF Secretariat phone: +1-202-473-0508 fax: +1-202-522-3240 email: email@example.com www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/events/council-meeting
19th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC: COP19, CMP9, ADP, and the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC (SBI and SBSTA) will convene in Warsaw, Poland. dates: 11-22 November 2013 location: Warsaw, Poland contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unfccc.int
Fifth African Regional Meeting on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and Related Workshops: The fifth regional meeting will, inter alia: identify regional priorities, exchange experiences and share information on activities undertaken at the national and regional levels, review and provide input to the draft document on the Overall Orientation and Guidance to facilitate achievement of the 2020 goal of sound chemicals management, and consult on preparations for the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4). A workshop on the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) toolbox for decision-makers in chemicals management will be held on 18 November, a workshop on endocrine disrupting chemicals on 19 November, an information sharing session on emerging issues on 20 November, followed by the regional meeting. dates: 18-22 November 2013 location: Pretoria, South Africa contact: SAICM Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8532 fax: +41-22-797-3460 email: email@example.com www: http://www.saicm.org
International Conference on Climate Change, Water and Disaster in Mountainous Areas: This conference is organized by the Society of Hydrologists and Meteorologists (SOHAM-Nepal). dates: 27-29 November 2013 location: Kathmandu, Nepal contact: Deepak Paudel, SOHAM Nepal phone: +977-9841647398 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.soham.org.np/pdf/international-conference.pdf
Annual Joint Meeting of the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres: The Directors of the regional centres for the Basel Convention (BC) and Stockholm Convention (SC) will meet to discuss development of a strategic plan for the enhanced delivery of technical assistance and technology transfer through the network of SC and BC regional centres. It will also, inter alia: identify new areas for joint collaboration among regional partners; exchange experience and expertise, including best practices; identify centers of excellence in thematic areas; and update the plan of action for the current biennium. dates: 27-29 November 2013 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Joint Secretariat of the BRS Conventions phone: +41-22-917-8729 fax: +41-22-917-8098 email: email@example.com www: http://synergies.pops.int/
71st meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund (MLF): The MLF is managed by an Executive Committee composed of developing and developed countries. This event discusses projects and activities supported by the fund for implementing the Montreal Protocol. dates: 2-6 December 2013 location: Montreal, Canada contact: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: +1-514-282-7862 email: email@example.com www: http://ozone.unep.org
Tenth Meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC-10): ICC-10 is expected to continue the consideration of its 2012-2013 work programme as well as initiate activities pertaining to its 2014-2015 work programme. Chairs of the compliance bodies of the Espoo Convention, Cartagena Protocol, the Montreal Protocol, the London Protocol, the Kyoto Protocol and CITES, as well as the representatives of the secretariats of these treaties, have been invited to attend the session. dates: 5-6 December 2013 location: Paris, France contact: Basel Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8218 fax: +41-22-917-8098 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.basel.int/TheConvention/ImplementationComplianceCommittee/Meetings/ICC10/tabid
IPCC WGII 10th Session and IPCC-38: IPCC WGII will meet for approval and acceptance of the WGII contribution to AR5. WGII assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it. Subsequently, IPCC-38 will convene to endorse the WGII contribution to AR5. dates: 25-29 March 2014 location: Yokohama, Japan contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email: IPCC-Sec@wmo.intwww: http://www.ipcc.ch/
IPCC WGIII 12th Session and IPCC-39: IPCC WGIII will approve and accept the WGIII contribution to AR5. WGIII focuses on mitigation of climate change. Subsequently, IPCC-39 will convene to endorse the WGIII report. dates: 7-13 April 2014 location: Berlin, Germany contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
UNFCCC 40th Sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies: SBI 40 and SBSTA 40 will convene in June 2014. dates: 4-15 June 2014 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: email@example.com www: http://unfccc.int
First Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP: As a result of the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), UNEP’s 58-member Governing Council became the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP with universal membership in March 2013. dates: 23-27 June 2014 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jamil Ahmad, Secretary of Governing Bodies phone: +254-20-7623431 fax: +254-20-7623929 email: firstname.lastname@example.org: http://www.unep.org/about/sgb/
2014 Climate Summit: This event is being organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with the aim to mobilize political will for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCCC process. date: 23 September 2014 (tentative) location: UN Headquarters, New York www: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit2014/
IPCC-40: This IPCC meeting will be held to adopt the AR5 Synthesis Report and approve its SPM. dates: 27-31 October 2014 location: Copenhagen, Denmark contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
Tenth Meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee (CRC-10): CRC-10 will review chemicals and pesticide formulations according to the criteria set out by the Convention in Annexes II and IV respectively and make recommendations to the COP for listing these chemicals in Annex III. date: 20-24 October 2014 location: Rome, Italy contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8296 fax: +41-22-917-8082 email: email@example.com www: http://www.pic.int/
Tenth Meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-10): POPRC-10 will review chemicals proposed for listing in Annex A, Annex B, and/or Annex C. dates: 27-31 October 2014 location: Rome, Italy contact: Stockholm Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8729 fax: +41-22-917-8098 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.pops.int
26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol: MOP 26 is scheduled to consider a number of issues, including nominations for critical- and essential-use exemptions and other draft decisions forwarded from the OEWG. dates: November 2014 location: to be confirmed contact: Ozone Secretariat phone: +254-20-762-3851 fax: +254-20-762-4691 email: email@example.com www: http://ozone.unep.org