Vol. 19 No. 53
THURSDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 2006
MOP-18’s high-level segment began Thursday morning, with opening statements, election of officers, adoption of the agenda and organization of work. Delegates also heard presentations by assessment panels and other bodies. In the afternoon, the high-level segment heard statements from senior officials and heads of delegations. The preparatory segment reconvened in the late afternoon to continue work on outstanding issues. Various contact groups and informal consultations also took place throughout the day.
OPENING OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: Shafqat Kakhakel, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, reaffirmed UNEP’s readiness to continue assisting parties with implementation of the Protocol, and stressed that political support is vital for overcoming remaining challenges. President of the MOP-18 Bureau, Elias Malungula, noted that the Protocol is progressing towards universality of membership.
Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, stressed the link between poverty, economic growth and environmental protection, and highlighted India’s progress in implementing the Protocol. He noted lessons from the Protocol, including that trade restrictions are not advisable, and that compliance should be more creative and less adversarial. He also called for channeling additional financial and technological resources to Article 5 parties to accomplish the objectives of the Montreal Protocol.
Namonarain Meena, India’s Minister of State for Environment and Forests, reiterated the significance of the interface between the environment and development.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Parties elected Bureau members for MOP-18. Elias Malungula, the Democratic Republic of Congo, was elected President, representatives from the Russian Federation, Dominican Republic and Pakistan were elected Vice-Presidents, and a representative from Austria was elected Rapporteur. Parties then agreed to the organization of work presented by MOP-18 Bureau President Malungula.
PRESENTATIONS BY ASSESSMENT PANELS: Parties heard presentations by the assessment panels on their work on the 2002-2006 assessment reports.
Scientific Assessment Panel: A.R. Ravishankara, Scientific Steering Committee of the Scientific Assessment Panel, presented the major findings and conclusions of the 2006 Science Assessment. David Fahey, Lead Author, presented the 2006 update of the “Twenty Questions and Answers about the Ozone Layer,” designed for a general audience.
Environmental Effects Assessment Panel: Janet Bornman, Environmental Effects Assessment Panel Co-Chair, updated delegates on, inter alia, the relationship between climate change and ozone depletion, and the expected increase in ultraviolet B radiation.
Task Force on Emissions Discrepancies: Lambert Kuijpers, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Emissions Discrepancies, reported on the source of discrepancies between emissions determined from bottom-up methods and atmospheric measurements for certain chemicals, as requested by COP-17 (Decision XVII/19). He noted conclusions, including that consistency between bottom-up and top-down assessments is better than was portrayed in the Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and Global System.
PRESENTATION BY THE CHAIR OF EXCOM: Khaled Klaly (Syria), Multilateral Fund ExCom Chair, presented a report of ExCom’s activities since MOP-17 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.18/8), including its forty-eighth and forty-ninth meetings (UNEP/OzL.Pro./ExCom/48/45 and UNEP/OzL.Pro./ExCom/49/43). He cautioned against complacency in eliminating ODS.
COUNTRY STATEMENTS: Many countries thanked India for hosting MOP-18 and outlined national activities to eliminate ODS. CANADA offered to host MOP-19 in Montreal in 2007, which will be the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol. INDIA noted the seriousness of difficulties faced by some Article 5 parties in phasing out CFCs due to the non-availability of feasible alternatives. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO noted its commitment to sharing experiences in customs codification with Central African countries. SRI LANKA thanked partners, including UNEP and Japan, for assistance with its ODS phase-out projects.
TANZANIA noted that the Multilateral Fund is considered a successful model for cooperation between developed and developing countries, because it recognizes shared but differentiated responsibilities. GUINEA said that to feel overly satisfied with progress toward eliminating ODS to date would be to neglect future generations. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC expressed concern about illegal trade in ODS and about the elimination of CFCs and HCFCs that have a global warming potential. The EU urged synergies with MEAs on chemicals, waste and climate change, and expressed support for transforming UNEP into a specialized agency with a revised and strengthened mandate.
On its non-compliance status, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, noted that it achieved 2005 targets for methyl bromide and that it would be close to achieving its 2006 CFC targets. MAURITIUS stressed the linkages between the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols in the area of HCFCs. He also expressed concern that developed countries supported the inclusion of methyl bromide control schedules for Article 5 parties and are themselves now falling short of full phase-out. The US suggested parties should approach the resolution of outstanding issues at MOP-18 in a spirit of pragmatism.
JAPAN called for closer cooperation to enable Article 5 parties to comply with their obligations, and reaffirmed its intention to continue assisting with technology, expertise and funding. HAITI called for solidarity and increased support from the Multilateral Fund and implementing agencies. TOGO expressed hope that parties would seriously consider the proposed adjustment of the Montreal Protocol to address the basic domestic needs of Article 5 parties.
EXPERT MEETING ON THE REPORTS OF THE TEAP AND THE IPCC: Contact group Chair, Sophia Mylona (Norway), reported that the group had reached consensus on a draft decision, which should be available on Friday.
METHYL BROMIDE-RELATED MATTERS: Review of CUNs: Contact group Chair Pierre Pinault (Canada) reported on remaining difficulties, namely stocks and CUEs. He said the US and the EU are working bilaterally toward a compromise, the parties may wish to request a study on stocks, and that the group would need to meet on Friday, pending bilateral consultations.
QPS: The EC reported that contact group participants had reached agreement on a draft decision requesting the TEAP to seek cooperation with the IPPC on methyl bromide in QPS. Delegates agreed to return to the matter on Friday.
DIFFICULTIES FACED BY SOME ARTICLE 5 PARTIES MANUFACTURING MDIs USING CFCS: Agustín Sánchez (Mexico), contact group Chair, reported that the group had prepared a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.18/CRP.16). He said the decision stresses the urgency of funding projects that support the elimination of CFC-based MDIs and addresses options for considering cases of countries with "non-compliance difficulties" through regional workshops and at MOP-20. Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment.
DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST GUIDELINES FOR GROUPS SUCH AS THE TEAP AND ITS TOCS: Chair of the contact group, Paul Krajnik (Austria), reported that contact group participants agreed to a new proposal (UNEP/OzL.Pro.18/CRP.15). He explained that this draft decision: incorporates the TEAP’s current code of conduct; elaborates on conflicts of interest and actions to mitigate conflicts; and includes a requirement for the TEAP to publish annual reports and descriptions of financial and other relevant interests, and an annex containing an illustrative list of types of interests that should be disclosed. After the US noted it needed time to consider the proposal, parties agreed to return to the matter on Friday.
FEASIBILITY STUDY ON DEVELOPING A SYSTEM FOR MONITORING THE TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENT OF ODS: Chair Peter Horrocks (EC) said that the contact group had reached agreement on a revised draft decision, which should be available on Friday.
KEY CHALLENGES TO BE FACED BY THE PARTIES IN PROTECTING THE OZONE LAYER OVER THE NEXT DECADE: Marcia Levaggi (Argentina), Co-Chair of the contact group, reported that the group had reached agreement on a draft decision. Parties agreed to return to the matter on Friday.
FEASIBILITY STUDY ON DEVELOPING A SYSTEM FOR MONITORING THE TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENT OF ODS: The group continued discussions on the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.18/CRP.3/Rev.1). One participant requested including language on the need for information exchange between Article 2 and Article 5 parties. Participants debated whether to bracket text requesting the Ozone Secretariat to assess the suitability of, inter alia, the UN commodity trade statistics database to monitor trade in ODS. Those opposing this text said that this request eliminates the possibility of assessing other suitable actions. Participants agreed to work bilaterally on consensus language.
EXPERT MEETING ON THE REPORTS OF THE TEAP AND THE IPCC: Participants addressed the Chair’s text, which incorporated elements of the EU’s and Argentina’s earlier drafts. The discussion centered on finding language to reflect the need for information on current and future demand and supply of HCFCs, and the influence of the CDM on HCFC-22 production. Differences were finally resolved and the group registered agreement on the draft.
CUNs AND METHYL BROMIDE-RELATED MATTERS: Participants discussed the need to differentiate between operational, critical-use and pre-2005 stocks, and some participants requested details on the quantities drawn from these stocks. Participants also discussed specific disputed CUE levels. One participant said that it would not be able to resolve some of its concerns through discussions with MBTOC. Another participant said parties should not be in a position to question MBTOC’s recommendations, while others emphasized the advisory nature of MBTOC.
Participants also discussed a text on CUEs. Disputed text included language: calling for TEAP to consider information on previously approved CUEs when assessing supplemental CUNs for 2008; barring CUE allocation if a party has not submitted an “individual national management strategy”; and limiting stocks to “less than 25% of the quantity allowed for critical uses” or to “no more than a one-year operational supply.”
COOPERATION WITH THE IPPC ON QPS: Chair of the “non-group,” Philippe Tulkens (EC), provided synthesized text, with additional paragraphs requesting the TEAP, to inter alia, assist the QPS Task Force in reporting on methyl bromide use for QPS by combining data sets available to each body, and by providing technical guidance on technologies aimed at minimizing emissions from methyl bromide. A few participants preferred the more simplified text discussed on Wednesday, while another participant responded that participants had agreed to work from a compromise text. After discussions on the objectives of each paragraph, participants agreed to forward the draft decision to the preparatory segment with minor textual changes.
KEY CHALLENGES TO BE FACED BY THE PARTIES IN PROTECTING THE OZONE LAYER OVER THE NEXT DECADE: After resolving an outstanding paragraph on volumes of ODS per substance and per category of party, the group agreed to forward the draft decision to the preparatory segment.
PROPOSAL BY CANADA FOR ADJUSTMENT OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: The group considered a draft proposal by Canada, which suggested introducing a limit of 10% of 1995-1997 production levels for CFC production to meet the basic domestic needs of Article 5 parties. Some participants expressed concern regarding the effects of mandatory caps on products other than pharmaceuticals, and on the MDI sectors in Article 5 parties, and suggested using a voluntary limit. Participants agreed to produce a report to reflect contact group discussions, rather than a draft decision.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Just as several contact groups had difficulty finding keys to meeting rooms, parties struggled to find the key to a compromise that would allow them to avoid yet another Extraordinary MOP on CUEs. Regarding one of the main points of contention, one participant said information on methyl bromide stocks seemed ï¿½as clear as mud.ï¿½ Other corridor chatter seemed to extend from the Prime Ministerï¿½s speech, with several developing country participants noting the ï¿½hypocrisyï¿½ of international institutions and developed countries encouraging developing countries to diversify their agricultural and economic activities, while providing inadequate assistance to support transition to the affordable methyl bromide alternatives needed for such diversification.