Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 19 No. 22
Thursday, 28 November 2002
WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2002
Delegates met in morning, afternoon and evening
Plenary sessions and agreed to forward several draft decisions to
the high-level segment for adoption. Negotiations remain outstanding
on numerous issues, including the Multilateral Fund replenishment,
the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism and illegal trade. Several contact
groups also met throughout the day.
IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
INTERACTION: The US reported agreement in the contact group on a
revised draft decision on interaction between the Implementation
Committee and the Executive Committee (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.1/Rev.1).
Delegates forwarded the draft to the high-level segment for
adoption, with a minor amendment.
RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIMATE CHANGE: DENMARK, on
behalf of the EU and NORWAY, introduced a draft decision on the
relationship between efforts to protect the ozone layer and the
global climate system (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/ CRP.4). The US, supported by
AUSTRALIA and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, opposed consideration by the
Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the joint Technology and Economic
Assessment Panel (TEAP)/Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
report requested by the 8th Conference of the Parties (COP-8) to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. SWITZERLAND
disagreed, stressing the usefulness of having the OEWG consider
corollary issues between ozone protection and climate change,
including hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) use. The EU agreed to delete the
request for OEWG consideration, and after informal consultations
with JAPAN, agreed to remove mention of the reference in the COP-8
decision to project funding in addition to the Multilateral Fund.
Stressing that the Montreal Protocol has no purview over HFCs and
perfluorocarbons (PFCs), the US, opposed by the EU, asked to delete
a request to submit the report to the OEWG.
GREENPEACE expressed concern over the impacts of
HFC and PFC use. Highlighting that the Multilateral Fund finances
HFC projects, he said the ozone Parties, especially developing
countries, should be keenly interested in the TEAP/IPCC report.
After further consultations and procedural
debate, the EU reported agreement that the OEWG would consider the
report "in so far as it relates to actions to address ozone
depletion". The draft decision was forwarded to the high-level
segment for adoption.
GLOBALLY HARMONIZED SYSTEM: The EUROPEAN
COMMUNITY (EC) introduced a draft decision on considering use of the
UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Globally Harmonized System
(GHS) for the classification and labeling of chemicals that deplete
the ozone layer (UNEP/ OzL.Pro.14/CRP.6). He noted that
ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are not currently included in the
GHS. After informal consultations, the EC introduced a revised draft
decision (UNEP/ OzL.Pro.14/CRP.6/Rev.1) that requests the Ozone
Secretariat to contact the ECOSOC Subcommittee of Experts to clarify
whether ODS are included in its programme of work, and if not,
evaluate the feasibility of doing so and report to OEWG-23.
Delegates forwarded the revised draft decision to the high-level
segment for adoption.
METHYL BROMIDE: There are two draft decisions
relating to methyl bromide. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC introduced its
draft decision on critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.9).
Noting that several Article 5 Parties are accelerating the phase-out
of methyl bromide while some non-Article 5 Parties are seeking
critical-use exemptions for this ODS, he drew attention to
BRAZIL, COSTA RICA, PERU and SWITZERLAND
supported the draft decision. Underscoring that Parties agreed to
the methyl bromide phase-out schedule based on the consideration of
critical-use exemptions according to agreed criteria, the US stated
it would be unfair to now set new criteria. The CROP PROTECTION
COALITION urged Parties to examine the impact of methyl bromide
phase out on farming and international trade. MARTINEZ BERRY FARMS
called on Parties to avoid further methyl bromide restrictions until
effective alternatives are found. GREENPEACE urged Parties to ensure
that the methyl bromide phase-out schedule is rigorously adhered to,
and preferably accelerated, in both Article 5 and non-Article 5
Parties. He noted that if large methyl bromide users in developed
countries are exempted from the phase-out schedule, it would send
the wrong signal to users in developing countries. Noting that the
TEAP is preparing a report for OEWG-23 on methyl bromide
alternatives in developing countries, the EC proposed postponing
discussion. Discussion will resume after the opening of the
KENYA introduced a draft decision on the
establishment of procedures and modalities for critical-use
exemption for methyl bromide for Article 5 Parties (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.15).
UGANDA supported, while AUSTRALIA and the US opposed, the proposal.
Discussion will resume after the opening of the high-level segment.
REFRIGERATION SERVICING AND CHILLERS:
Delegates considered a draft decision submitted by 20 Central and
South American countries recommending that the Multilateral Fund
finance investment projects in the refrigeration servicing and
chiller sector (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.7). CHINA, INDIA, IRAN, SYRIA
and TANZANIA supported the draft decision. Noting expert advice that
electricity savings achieved by new chillers lead to short pay-back
periods, the US said the Executive Committee had approved a small
number of chiller projects only on loan basis. He remarked that
adopting a draft decision with funding implications would be
premature as the Multilateral Fund Secretariat is exploring the
sector’s potential funding eligibility. CHINA, with CUBA,
highlighted this sector’s importance for low-consuming countries.
Discussions continued in a contact group.
CLARIFICATION OF TERMINOLOGY: POLAND
introduced a revised draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.11), which
states the terms "recovered," "recycled," and "reclaimed" have been
used inconsistently, and urges Parties to be precise in future
decisions. Delegates forwarded the draft decision to the high-level
segment for adoption.
METERED-DOSE INHALERS: The EC introduced a
draft decision on a global database and assessment to complete the
transition from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) metered-dose inhalers (MDIs)
(UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.5). CUBA, with CHINA and SYRIA, called for
ensuring and accelerating technology transfer relating to CFC-free
MDIs to Article 5 Parties. CHINA, supported by the RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, noted that Article 5 Parties have not gained sufficient
support from the Multilateral Fund on this issue, and called on
non-Article 5 Parties to provide adequate information to Article 5
Parties. Many Parties expressed concern over the January 2003
deadline for submitting information on CFC and CFC-free MDIs. In
response, the US suggested Parties make a "best effort" to submit
this information by February 2003 and asked for data on any price
disparity between CFC and CFC-free asthma and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease treatments.
After a contact group meeting, the EC presented a
revised draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.5/Rev.1) and noted,
inter alia, the addition of dry-powder inhalers and the request
for Parties to submit "available" information on inhaler treatments.
CHINA made reservations and suggested further discussion with the
DESTRUCTION TECHNOLOGIES: AUSTRALIA
introduced a draft decision on destruction technologies (UNEP/
OzL.Pro.14/CRP.13), which, inter alia, adds to the list of
approved destruction technologies that meet the minimum emission
standards. In addition to requesting TEAP to update guidance on
ensuring that ODS release is minimized during the operation of
approved destruction technologies, CHINA suggested that the TEAP
also provide guidance on minimizing the environmental impact of such
technologies. JAPAN expressed reservations and discussion will
resume after the opening of the high-level segment.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE REGIONAL NETWORK:
GEORGIA introduced a draft decision on the creation of a regional
network of Central and Eastern European Article 5 Parties (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.14).
He emphasized that similar networks are present in other regions.
The US and the EU inquired about the proposal’s financial
implications. After informal consultations, GEORGIA withdrew the
draft decision, saying it would pursue the matter in other forums.
ILLEGAL TRADE: POLAND, chair of the contact
group on this issue, introduced a revised proposal on illegal trade
in ODS (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.12). He highlighted that both Article 5
and non-Article 5 Parties took part in the contact group. The EC,
with BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, CANADA, JAPAN, and NORWAY supported the
decision, and many Parties stressed the importance of regional
networks. BOTSWANA, with CHINA, LIBYA and PERU, highlighted the need
for capacity building for Article 5 Parties in combating illegal
trade. JAPAN noted, and POLAND concurred, that concerns expressed by
some Parties on the lack of capacity building were addressed by the
references to regional networks, the training of custom officers and
licensing system projects. Opposed by the US, CHINA called for the
Multilateral Fund Executive Committee to provide financial and
technical assistance to Article 5 Parties in combating illegal
trade. The MALDIVES, with MAURITIUS and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION,
expressed concern over the fate of ODS seized by customs officers.
BURKINA FASO proposed that the Ozone Secretariat be requested to
explore options for reducing illegal trade with both governments and
stakeholders. The Ozone Secretariat prepared a revised draft
decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.14/CRP.12/Rev.1) but delegates could not
agree on matters pertaining to the seizure of ODS and financial
assistance through the Multilateral Fund. Discussion will resume
after the opening of the high-level segment. IMPLEMENTATION
COMMITTEE: Implementation Committee President Mahfuzul Haque
introduced the draft recommendations on compliance issues agreed at
the Committee’s 28th meeting (UNEP/ OzL.Pro.14/L.1/Add.1).
The MALDIVES said it had written to the Ozone
Secretariat explaining the reasons for its non-compliance and
stating that it would cease ODS imports for the next two years in
order to return to compliance. The Ozone Secretariat noted that this
information had been taken into account in the Implementation
Committee’s recommendation. The US queried why the Maldives had not
attended the Implementation Committee. In response to the Ozone
Secretariat’s comment that Parties are only invited to attend
Committee meetings in complex cases, the US proposed that all
Parties under consideration should be invited to present their case.
Confirming his country's commitment to fulfilling
its ozone obligations and complying with the Implementation
Committee's recommendation, LIBYA stated that the implementation of
its national programme had been delayed until 1999 due to the
opposition of some countries as a result of UN sanctions. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA said it had written to the Ozone Secretariat
explaining that its baseline was artificially low, as it covered a
period of war when ODS production ceased, and requesting a baseline
of 2001. Remarking that it had already appeared before the
Implementation Committee, YEMEN asked why further information had
been requested. Implementation Committee President Haque stressed
that the Committee exercises caution when considering proposed
baseline data changes. The UK emphasized that the Implementation
Committeeï¿½s recommendations are only as sound as the information
provided to it. Delegates forwarded the recommendations to the
high-level segment for adoption. The US noted lack of time, and
reserved the right to reopen discussions.
RESEARCH UNDER THE VIENNA CONVENTION:
ARGENTINA introduced a draft decision requesting the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) with the World Meteorological
Organization to establish a fund for receiving voluntary
contributions for financing ozone-related monitoring and research
activities in developing countries and countries with economies in
transition (UNEP/OzL.Conv.6/CRP.1/Rev.1). After protracted debate,
Parties agreed to submit the draft decision to the high-level
segment for adoption.
EXPEDITED PROCEDURES : The EU stated that it
would submit a report on this issue in 2003.
ODS RECOVERY: The EC withdrew its proposal to
discuss this issue.
MULTILATERAL FUND REPLENISHMENT: The contact
group on the Multilateral Fund replenishment met in the afternoon.
Delegates discussed each element of the funding requirement and
issues related to cost efficiency and Article 5 Partiesï¿½ compliance
with the Montreal Protocol.
IN THE CORRIDORS - I
There were notable absences from the conference
center on Wednesday morning, as 18 participants were granted a brief
audience with the Pope. Divine inspiration seemed lacking, however,
as delegates made slow progress through their outstanding business.
Coming out of the Multilateral Fund replenishment contact group,
some participants did report "high spirits," confident of reaching a
compromise between the G-77/China and the TEAPï¿½s figures. Others,
however, were concerned that delegates were still explaining their
positions, rather than negotiating to close the gap of nearly $400
million between the two figures.
IN THE CORRIDORS - II
Some delegates expressed surprise at the claim in
Plenary that "there are no alternatives for methyl bromide," arguing
that effective alternatives have been identified for the vast
majority of methyl bromide uses, as illustrated at Tuesdayï¿½s UNEP/Food
and Agriculture Organization workshop.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The high-level segment will commence
at 10:00 am. Delegates will hear statements from, among others, the
Deputy Mayor of Rome, Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive
Director and Altero Matteoli, Minister of the Environment and
Territory of Italy. The preparatory segment will then reconvene to
consider outstanding items.