The thirty-first Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol successfully completed five days of negotiations, with the most pressing agenda items—terms of reference (ToR) for the study on the 2021-2023 replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF), the unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), and the areas of focus for the 2022 quadrennial assessment reports of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP), the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP)—requiring careful negotiation to balance different parties’ agendas.
In particular, parties had to find a middle ground that would, in the MLF Study ToR, allow for scenarios for implementation of the Kigali Amendment and funding for alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), while also including language that would, in some parties’ views, increase the transparency of potential fund disbursement.
Parties tried to balance investigating and resolving the unexpected emissions of CFC-11 by analyzing institutional processes to avoid similar situations in the future. These negotiations included how to alert parties about similar issues in the future by gathering more information on the current situation and whether impugning parties was a constructive way forward.
On the areas of focus for the 2022 quadrennial assessment, parties sought to include new and emerging challenges, such as energy efficiency in light of the HFC phase-down, while also maintaining a focus on ozone layer depletion without overburdening the Assessment Panels, which already have a myriad of tasks to complete.
MOP 31 also addressed: review of the TEAP’s ToR, composition, balance, fields of expertise, and workload; ongoing reported emissions of carbon tetrachloride; critical use exemptions; and issues of non-compliance. Parties were also invited to sign the Rome Declaration on the Contribution of the Montreal Protocol to Food Loss Reduction through Sustainable Cold Chain Management.
The thirty-first meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 31) convened for its final day on Friday, 8 November 2019, in Rome, Italy.
In the morning, the preparatory segment convened for stock-taking, with the MOP noting that a number of agenda items need additional time so parties can conclude their deliberations.
The High-Level Segment then reconvened, with the MOP hearing statements from heads of delegation. Key themes highlighted, included:
The Preparatory Segment reconvened in the early evening. It noted that the following contact groups still require additional time:
00:33 - MOP 31 is closed at 00:33 on Saturday, 9 November 2019.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from MOP 31. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz
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The penultimate day of the thirty-first meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 31) convened on Thursday, 7 November 2019, in Rome, Italy.
The High-Level Segment opened with statements from dignitaries. Sergio Costa, Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, welcomed guests, and urged parties to work together “to shoulder our responsibilities to ensure the protection of the environment for the future.” Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, underscored the interconnectedness of environmental challenges, stating “nothing short of universal ratification of the Kigali Amendment is acceptable.” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, Holy See, on behalf of Pope Francis, cited aspects of a successful model of environmental protection and integral human development, highlighting the Montreal Protocol as an example.
Qu Dongyu, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General, highlighted the impact that sustainable food chain can have on agriculture and food production. MOP 30 President Liana Ghahramanyan noted that it is difficult to overestimate the vital role of the ozone layer and its benefits to life on earth. The high-level roundtable, on the Montreal Protocol’s contribution to the cold food supply chain, described national and global action plans to expand and promote cold chain infrastructure.
The Assessment Panels presented their synthesis report for the 2018 Quadrennial Assessment. Key messages included, inter alia:
The Chair of the Multilateral Fund’s (MLF) Executive Committee (ExCom) described the Fund’s activities over the intervening year.
The MOP then heard statements from heads of delegations, with many noting national activities to phase-out ODS and prepare for the HFC phase-down.
The preparatory segment convened briefly in the afternoon to hear updates on outstanding agenda items. Contact groups and informal discussions took place throughout the day.
Over the course of the day, delegates were seen rushing in and out of meeting rooms as they tried to find common ground on outstanding agenda items. As they did so, many were reminded that the success of the Protocol is due to the fact that it doesn’t work in isolation. As Cardinal Parolin had reminded delegates in the morning, a successful environmental agreement “is grounded in the knowledge that everything is connected.”
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On Wednesday, 6 November 2019, delegates convened for the final day of the thirty-first Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol’s (MOP 31) preparatory segment in Rome, Italy.
In the morning, delegates addressed, among others:
Plenary adjourned for contact group and informal discussions to take place. Formal contact groups discussed the 2022 quadrennial assessment, the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Replenishment Study, and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) Terms of Reference (ToR).
Plenary reconvened in the afternoon to hear an update from parties on outstanding agenda items, including:
As there were a number of outstanding agenda items, the preparatory segment was unable to conclude, and therefore will run in parallel to the high-level segment (HLS).
In the evening, the contact group on CFC-11, and the informal group on the MLF Executive Committee (ExCom) Membership met.
One draft decision, on the status of ratification of the Kigali Amendment, was forwarded to the HLS for adoption.
With a very full agenda and cognizant of time running out, delegates were constructive in their deliberations, with many recognizing that smaller formal and informal contact groups outside of plenary would be the most conducive setting to make progress. Throughout the day, whether in plenary or in contact groups, parties maintained that scientific vigilance must remain a cornerstone for the Protocol.
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The thirty-first Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 31) reconvened on Tuesday, 5 November 2019 at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy.
In the morning, delegates heard reports from the contact groups and addressed:
In the afternoon, discussion continued on energy-efficiency technologies, and delegates also addressed:
Contact groups on the 2022 quadrennial assessment, and CFC-11, as well as the Budget Committee met during the day. The agenda item on the request by Azerbaijan to be included among the parties to which the phase-down schedule for hydrofluorocarbons was opened and closed due to the fact that Azerbaijan is not present at MOP 31.
As parties continued their deliberations, many could be heard in the corridors wondering how to balance the need to strengthen monitoring and compliance in the Protocol without creating additional reporting burdens for Article 5 countries. Some cautioned that resources will need to be found to be able to shoulder the additional requirements.
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The thirty-first Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 31) opened its preparatory segment on Monday, 4 November 2019 at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy.
In his opening remarks, Roberto Morassut, Italian Undersecretary of State, Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea, stated that the Montreal Protocol is an inspiration for a transition to a sustainable world. René Castro-Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Development, FAO, added that pooling the abilities of environment and agriculture ministers can make strides towards fully eliminating food loss. Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, said parties need to collectively decide how to move the Protocol forward to address new challenges.
The main topic of discussion was the agenda item on unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11). The Assessment Panels presented their report on the issue, China presented on their efforts to address the issue, and parties deliberated on the way forward. Highlights of the discussion include:
Delegates addressed a range of topics throughout the day. These included agenda items on:
Two contact groups on the potential areas of focus for the 2022 quadrennial assessment reports and on CFC-11 were established, as well as the budget committee.
Delegates arriving at MOP 31 faced an extremely full agenda. With the opening statements reminding them of the recent challenges facing the Protocol, many were heard remarking that introspection is required to assess what needs to be altered in light of changing circumstances and collectively agree on a way forward, especially if parties want to walk away at the end of the week saying “Veni, Vidi, Vici”—I came, I saw, I conquered.
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