Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)
Volume 19 Number 141 | Tuesday, 6 November 2018
MOP 30 Highlights
Monday, 5 November 2018 | Quito, Ecuador
The preparatory segment of the Montreal Protocol MOP 30 opened on Monday, 5 November 2018, in Quito, Ecuador. In the morning, delegates heard opening statements and discussed financial reports and budgets of the trust funds and matters related to implementation of the Kigali Amendment.
In the afternoon, delegates discussed the ratification status of the Kigali Amendment, as well as: the future availability of halons and their alternatives; nominations for critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide for 2019 and 2020; development and availability of laboratory and analytical procedures that can be performed without using substances controlled under the Protocol; and proposals for changes in ODS approved for process agent applications.
Opening of the Preparatory Segment
Co-Chair Yaqoub Almatouq (Kuwait) opened the segment.
Pablo Campana Sáenz, Minister for Industry and Productivity, Ecuador, noted his country was an early ratifier of the Kigali Amendment and has already set up a HFCs licensing system and detailed databank.
Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, stressed the importance of strong action at MOP 30 on enforcement and compliance, to uphold the credibility of the Protocol, and announced that the Secretariat will present a draft gender action plan at OEWG 41.
Adoption of the Agenda of the Preparatory Segment: Co-Chair Almatouq introduced the provisional agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/1 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/1/Add.1). The European Union (EU) requested discussing safety standards for refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat-pump (RACHP) systems and appliances, and Harmonized System customs codes for HCFC and CFC substitutes under “other matters.” The agenda was adopted with the amendment.
Organization of Work: Co-Chair Cynthia Newberg (US) suggested, and delegates agreed, to address the topics in order of the agenda.
Budget of the Trust Fund for the Montreal Protocol and Financial Reports
Co-Chair Almatouq introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/4/Rev.1, UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/4/Add.1/Rev.1 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/5). Delegates established a budget committee to discuss the relevant documents and prepare the necessary draft decisions.
Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons
Data Reporting under Article 7 and Related Issues: Co-Chair Newberg opened this agenda item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/8), noting the need for further work on the timeline for the reporting of baseline data for HFCs by Article 5 parties; the GWP values for HCFC-141 and HCFC-142; and the proposed revised data reporting forms and associated instructions. The contact group established at OEWG 40 was reconvened.
Destruction Technologies for Controlled Substances: Co-Chair Newberg highlighted the September 2018 TEAP Task Force report on destruction technologies for controlled substances. TEAP Task Force on Destruction Technologies Co-Chairs Helen Tope and Helen Walter-Terrinoni presented an addendum to the report, highlighting the assessment of approved destruction technologies, such as liquid injection and rotary kiln incineration.
A contact group was established to further consider this issue.
Progress by the MLF ExCom in the Development of Guidelines for Financing the Phase-down of Hydrofluorocarbons (decision XXVIII/2): Eduardo Ganem, Chief Officer, MLF, presented ExCom’s report to MOP 30 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/10). He underlined that the ExCom has been discussing the establishment of guidelines since 2016. He highlighted key issues for Kigali Amendment implementation, including: additional contributions to the MLF; information on HFCs consumption and production; principles for funding enabling activities and institutional strengthening; and draft cost-effectiveness guidelines for funding the phase-down of HFCs and key aspects related to HFC-23 technologies.
CHINA suggested that the MLF Secretariat accelerate its funding programmes and outstanding guidelines taking into account future trends so that funding for Article 5 parties is aligned to the actual situation of phase-down activities. The MLF Secretariat responded that the business plan is revised annually and adapts to the changing situation of Article 5 parties compliance status.
INDIA proposed establishing a contact group to define ways forward for guidelines. JORDAN, with LEBANON, suggested terms of reference be developed for this contact group to ensure there is no conflict with the mandate of the ExCom.
SYRIA, the FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA (FSM), and SWITZERLAND supported allowing the ExCom to finalize the guidelines. BARBADOS, with AUSTRALIA, called on parties to review the documentation in order to better advise their ExCom representatives. AUSTRALIA, the US and FSM stressed the need to give the ExCom enough time to “get it right.” NIGERIA asked whether the ExCom has a timeframe for concluding the guidelines.
INDIA stressed that under decision XXVIII/2, the ExCom was mandated to present the guidelines to the MOP for input before they are finalized. Stating that his delegation trusts the ExCom to finalize the guidelines, the US suggested that the meeting report reflect the “flavor” of the discussion, forward the meeting report to the MLF, suggesting that this would fulfil the provision in decision XXVIII/2.
Co-Chair Almatouq suggested that the discussions be reflected in the meeting report in detail and called on the ExCom members to take note of all the discussions which would then be used as a basis to finalize the guidelines. INDIA opposed, calling for the issue to remain open until a decision is reached on the way forward. Almatouq suspended discussions on the guidelines, noting that the MOP will return to it later this week.
Status of Ratification of the Kigali Amendment: Co-Chair Almatouq opened this agenda item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/INF/1), indicating that 59 countries have ratified the Amendment and encouraged all countries to do the same. Several delegates presented the status of ratification of the Kigali Amendment in their countries and the expected conclusion date.
Future Availability of Halons and their Alternatives (Decision XXIX/8)
Dan Verdonik, Co-Chair, Halons Technical Options Committee (HTOC), reported on progress made with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since forming an informal working group to better understand the current uses and releases of halons and any potential courses of action that civil aviation could take to reduce those uses and releases.
Verdonik informed parties that a questionnaire was developed and sent out to national servicing companies to provide a more accurate estimate of annual halon 1301 emissions from civil aviation. 53 surveys were returned but only 10 provided data on the questions intended to determine emissions. HTOC does not know the total number of surveys that were distributed; however, its estimate of halon 1301 available at the end of 2018 is 37,750 metric tonnes.
Following questions from parties, HTOC agreed to have offline discussions with parties on their more detailed and technical questions.
The US, supported by the EU, CANADA, and AUSTRALIA, noted that they would present a conference room paper (CRP) later in the week, requesting the Secretariat to engage with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other organizations. NIGERIA suggested encouraging countries still using halons in the oil and gas sector to decommission them. Co-Chair Newberg suspended discussions until parties could consider the CRP by the US and others.
Issues Related to Exemptions from Article 2 of the Montreal Protocol:
Co-Chair Almatouq introduced these items (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/2/Add.1).
Critical-use exemptions (CUE) Nominations for 2019 and 2020: Methyl Bromide TOC (MBTOC) Co-Chairs Ian Porter and Marta Pizano discussed the CUEs requested by Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Mexico and South Africa.
JORDAN called for parties to share information in order to phase out methyl bromide. The US noted that the workload of the MBTOC is significantly diminished and proposed that the MBTOC process be further streamlined. CANADA reported that they were working with Australia, Argentina, and South Africa on a CRP.
ARGENTINA agreed to eliminate methyl bromide in the short term. The EU recalled its experience in phasing out methyl bromide and urged the use of alternatives for tomatoes and strawberries. COSTA RICA expressed concern on the expansion of exemptions for methyl bromide. KENYA asked the MBTOC to consider soil and the post-harvest sector as they also pose risks for methyl bromide release. MEXICO highlighted that it may be complicated to secure some countries’ inventories, since they may be fragmented. Co-Chair Newberg suspended decision on this item until Canada submits the CRP.
Development and Availability of Laboratory and Analytical Procedures that can be Performed Without Using Controlled Substances under the Protocol (decision XXVI/5): Helen Tope, Co-Chair, Medical and Chemicals TOC (MCTOC) presented MCTOC’s report. She gave examples of laboratory and analytical uses (LAUs) of controlled substances including: equipment calibration, extraction solvents, diluents and carriers for specific chemical analyses. She highlighted the main ODS have been carbon tetrachloride, CFC-113 and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. She emphasized the report considers standards relating to LAUs, as well as available alternatives, potential barriers and challenges for parties, and that it focuses on controlled substances already in the global exemption, including information on known LAUs using HCFCs. She highlighted that in 2016 the global production of all reported controlled substances for LAUs was relatively small and listed some recommendations, including establishing cooperation with standards organizations and parties providing more comprehensive data.
AUSTRALIA, supported by the US, said the production of ODS for LAUs is relatively small and suggested it may be time to take a pause and revisit this issue in order to formulate a new way of dealing with this issue. The Co-Chairs noted a draft decision by Australia, supported by the EU and CANADA, to be addressed under the agenda item on adjustments, proposing that OEWG 41 consider a revised list of laboratory and analytical procedures that can be performed without using controlled substances.
Process Agents: Co-Chair Newberg introduced this agenda item. MEXICO and VENEZUELA requested parties using process agents to provide an update and timeline for the elimination of these substances. Reflecting suggestions by the EU and CANADA, the Co-Chairs recommended, and delegates accepted, that this discussion be reflected in the meeting report and this item be addressed at OEWG 41.
In the Corridors
On day one, some concerns, which a few defined as “trust issues,” surfaced in plenary. In what should have been a brief consideration on the ExCom’s progress report, parties ended-up in a long-drawn out debate related to the role of the MOP vis-à-vis the ExCom of the MLF in the finalization of the guidelines for financing the phase-down of HFCs. With everyone in agreement that the ExCom had done tremendous work on the guidelines so far, one party was adamant on the need for the MOP to sign off on the ExCom’s work to ensure “they truly reflect our needs.” Some opined that this discussion was reminiscent on the discussions on HCFC phase-down, where some parties had felt their issues had not been fully understood. “At least this was raised early in the week, so we have time to ruminate on it,” sighed one delegate, wondering how this would be resolved.
As delegates tackled some of the technical issues in the afternoon, a spirit of innovation descended, with calls to ensure the Protocol begins to do things differently. “We have been dealing with laboratory and analytical uses in the same way for 23 years,” lamented one seasoned participant, suggesting that the MOP take a step back to consider new ways of addressing this old issue.
“We’ve certainly hit the ground running,” quipped one participant heading to an evening contact group.