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Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 19 Number 144 | Friday, 9 November 2018


MOP 30 Highlights

Thursday, 8 November 2018 | Quito, Ecuador


Languages: EN (HTML/PDF) FR (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage from Quito, Ecuador at: http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop30/

The High-Level Segment (HLS) of the Montreal Protocol MOP 30 opened on Thursday, 8 November 2018, in Quito, Ecuador. In the morning, plenary heard statements from dignitaries, addressed organizational matters and heard reports from the assessment panels on key findings emerging from their 2018 Quadrennial Assessments.

The Budget Committee and contact groups met throughout the afternoon. In late afternoon, the HLS reconvened with a science panel question and answer session, after which delegates heard statements from heads of delegation on key issues. The Preparatory Segment reconvened afterward to hear progress reports back from contact groups and informal consultations.

MOP 30 High-Level Segment

MOP 29 President Yaqoub Almatouq (Kuwait) opened the HLS.

Lenín Moreno, President, Ecuador, welcomed delegates. He stressed the importance of seeking inclusive sustainable development to “protect the house in which our children and grandchildren must live.” He called for seeking alternative technologies that do not deplete the ozone layer and continued financial assistance to support developing countries in implementing the Protocol and its amendments. He urged all countries to swiftly ratify the Kigali Amendment.

Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, said the overarching message that the assessment panels’ reports would be that there is no room for complacency, which together with the unexpected detection of CFC-11 emissions, potentially jeopardizes the reputation the Montreal Protocol has built over 30 years. She suggested that to tackle the challenges facing them, Protocol institutions may need to be reassessed.

Almatouq noted the progress made by Protocol parties since the last time a meeting was held in the region in 1996; highlighted that decisions taken by this meeting will have a positive impact in the protection of the environment; and stressed the need to send a strong political message to halt the production and use of CFC-11.

Organizational Matters: Elections of MOP 30 Officers: MOP 30 elected by acclamation: Liana Ghahramanyan, Armenia, as President; Samuel Pare, Burkina Faso, Juan Sebastian Salcedo, Ecuador, and Elisabeth Munzert, Germany, as Vice Presidents; and Bitul Zulhasni, Indonesia, as Rapporteur.

Adoption of the Agenda and Organization of Work: MOP 30 President Ghahramanyan introduced the agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/1, section II). The FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA (FSM) suggested discussing a new proposal, by FSM, Mali, Morocco and Nigeria, on the need to study the relationship between stratospheric ozone and proposed solar radiation management strategies (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/CRP.7) be included under Other Matters, noting that it is related to the report of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP). AUSTRALIA called for clarity on whether there was a legal precedent for introducing conference room papers (CRPs) during the HLS. Ozone Secretariat Legal Advisor Gilbert Bankobeza noted that nothing in the rules of procedure precludes this. The US, CANADA, and the EU cautioned that this would set a bad precedent, and with CHINA noted that there was insufficient time to discuss this important issue. BURKINA FASO, NIGER and SWITZERLAND suggested that the proponents introduce the CRP, and take it up at the 41st meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 41). President Ghahramanyan proposed, and FSM agreed, to initiate discussions after presentations by the assessment panels and resubmit the CRP at OEWG 41. Delegates adopted the agenda.

Credentials: President Ghahramanyan called on delegations to submit the credentials of representatives as soon as possible.

Presentations by the Assessment Panels on Progress in their Work and Any Key Issues Having Emerged from their 2018 Quadrennial Assessments: The SAP shared several key findings from the forthcoming Assessment, including:

  • a continued decline in the total emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS);
  • a slower decline in chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and slower increase in hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) since 2014;
  • an unexpected increase in global total emissions of CFC-11;
  • the Kigali Amendment is projected to reduce future global average warming in 2100 due to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from a baseline of 0.3–0.5˚C to less than 0.1˚C; and
  • new options available to hasten recovery of the ozone layer are limited. Hence compliance is key.

The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) presented on the environmental effects of ozone depletion, UV radiation, and interactions with climate change. The panel stated that 43 scientists from 18 countries contributed to this 2018 quadrennial assessment. The presentation demonstrated the interlinkages between the Protocol and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). EEAP underscored that decreasing ODS controlled by the Protocol has helped avoid large increases in solar UV-B radiation. Further, they added that modelling studies have shown how the implementation of the Protocol has avoided catastrophic effects on human health. They discussed possible impacts on tropospheric air quality of Protocol actions. They noted some ODS replacements (e.g. ammonia, hydrocarbons) may have direct or indirect effects on air quality.

The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) presented its key messages including that:

  • the Foam Technical Options Committee (FTOC) is aware of the marketing of CFC-11 for use in foams on the internet and through other means;
  • a new low global warming potential (GWP) halon blend for total flooding (blending two existing low-GWP agents) was announced in October 2018;
  • CFC metered-dose inhalers have been phased out, with affordable alternatives available worldwide; and
  • the Methyl Bromide TOC (MBTOC) is aware of marketing of methyl bromide on the internet without apparent restriction for controlled uses. 

In discussions, delegates raised, inter alia: the need for cooperation between MBTOC and governments to regulate the use of methyl bromide; the state-of-play in the development of low-GWP technologies; the need for more information on the sale of CFC-11; the need to take action on the information available on carbon tetrachloride (CTC) emissions; the importance of addressing governance issues related to atmospheric geoengineering; and the recent detection of five volatile fluorinated gases in the Arctic. FSM noted their intention of presenting their CRP on the relationship between stratospheric ozone and proposed solar radiation management strategies at OEWG 41.

Presentation by the Chair of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Executive Committee (ExCom): Hussein Mazen, Chair, ExCom, presented the significant achievements of the work of the ExCom, Secretariat and implementing agencies (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/10). He underlined the complexities faced by the ExCom in the elaboration of the guidelines for financing the phase-down of HFCs. He also presented initiatives and partnerships established to support institutional strengthening and to promote knowledge for the implementation of the Kigali Amendment.

Statements by Heads of Delegation: Noel Holder, Minister of Agriculture, GUYANA, drew attention to his country’s work to transition the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector to long-term sustainable technologies and practices.

Underlining his country’s commitment to phase out HCFCs consumption by 2020, Tjekero Tweya, Minister of Industrialization, Trade and Small and Medium-size Enterprises, NAMIBIA, outlined his country’s HCFC regulations.

Gale Rigobert, Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, SAINT LUCIA, pointed to the barriers to the adoption of ozone- and climate-friendly alternative refrigerants and technologies.

TOGO, underscored his government’s efforts to transition towards energy efficient technologies in the RAC sectors, announcing his country’s plan to ratify the Kigali Amendment. CHINA drew attention to the country’s “zero tolerance” policy on violations of ODS rules and regulations, and a successful nationwide ODS law enforcement campaign launched earlier this year.

The EU stressed the need to ensure that efforts to phase-out ODS are not undermined and that tackling the unexplained emissions of CFC-11 occurs in a spirit of mutual cooperation. MONGOLIA said his government will ratify the Kigali Amendment in 2019.  CHILE drew attention to the fact that it was the first country in the region to ratify the Kigali Amendment.

NORWAY called for swift action to address the impact of CFC-11 emissions on ozone-layer recovery; and pledged USD 30,000 to the Vienna Convention Trust Fund for observation and research.

FIJI reiterated his country’s commitment to meeting its Montreal Protocol obligations and welcomed the capacity building provided by the Secretariat in the RAC sector.

COTE D’IVOIRE said her country is on track to phase out HCFCs in 2030 and continues to carry out capacity-building activities and workshops to maintain momentum for compliance.

Resumed Preparatory Segment

Co-chairs of contact groups on data reporting and energy efficiency, and informal groups on TEAP terms of reference, ExCom composition, and ExCom funding guidelines, all reported progress and requested more time for deliberation.

The Secretariat reported the nominations for the Implementation Committee (ImpCom), ExCom and the Co-Chairs of OEWG 41, noting that a CRP will be forwarded to the HLS for approval.

Contact Groups and Informal Discussions

Data Reporting: Delegates continued discussions on data reporting under Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/8/Rev.1). Debate focused on: the HFC-23 emissions reporting requirement; the content of the information to be provided in each data form; and what should be considered compulsory or voluntary reporting. The Co-Chairs invited parties to evaluate the information contained in the data forms for reporting. Some parties asked for clarification on the definition and differences between reporting on emissions generated through by-production that is captured for use, destruction and feedstock, and emissions from the destruction of controlled substances. The Co-Chairs asked delegates to continue discussions in the margins of the meeting.

Energy Efficiency: Delegates continued revising the African Group proposal on access of Article 5 parties to energy-efficient technologies in the refrigeration air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) sector (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/CRP.2), discussing, inter alia: what ExCom is to take into account when developing cost guidance related to maintaining or enhancing energy efficiency of replacement technologies; modalities for co-funding improvements in energy efficiency; and the development by OEWG 41 and MOP 31 of an energy efficiency “roadmap” to guide governance, regulatory frameworks, and funding and co-funding opportunities.

In the Corridors

On the second last day of the meeting, delegates were inspired by the words of President of Ecuador Lenín Moreno, whose clarion call was for humanity to correct the mistakes of the past by using “new technology to reverse environmental damage.” “President Moreno’s message was so timely given that we are only two months from the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment,” said one delegate. “We are definitely on the road to rectifying our past mistakes,” nodded another.

In this spirit, FSM tried to introduce a proposal to tackle yet another emerging issue on the relationship between ozone and radiation management strategies. Though her proposal was welcomed, parties pushed back, fearing the precedent that could be created by introducing proposals during the High-Level Segment. “Why didn’t we hear of this earlier?” was the main question in the plenary discussion. In the corridors, however, a couple of delegates had a different take on the matter. “We need to be able to change procedure for those things that matter,” opined one frustrated participant from a country with high ambient temperatures. “I am really glad the issue is on our radar now, even if the discussion has been postponed to 2019” conceded another. OEWG 41 will definitely not be starved for content, as a couple of decisions still pending from this session of the MOP were rumored to already be on the agenda for Bangkok in July.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of MOP 30 will be available on Monday, 12 November 2018 at http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop30/

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