The preparatory segment of Montreal Protocol MOP-22 convened for its fourth day in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, 11 November 2010.
In the morning, delegates attended the opening of the High-level segment. Delegates then convened in plenary throughout the day to hear presentations by heads of delegations.
Contact groups on ODS destruction, QPS uses of methyl bromide and ToRs on evaluation of the financial mechanism and replenishment of the MLF, an informal group on low-GWP alternatives, and the Budget Committee met throughout the day.
OPENING OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
Michael Church, Minister of Environment (Grenada), MOP-21 President, applauded the universal ratification of the Protocol and appealed to the few parties that have not ratified the amendments to do so expeditiously.
Executive Secretary Marco González, on behalf of UNEP Executive Secretary Achim Steiner, thanked the government of Thailand for hosting the meeting. He highlighted that parties to Montreal Protocol have not only succeeded in protecting the ozone layer, but also contributing to protecting the global climate system, and appealed to parties to make greater efforts. He paid tribute to Madhava Sarma, former Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, and other two distinguished members of the ozone community who recently passed away. Participants held a moment of silence to express condolences. González also expressed appreciation for the contribution made by TEAP Co-Chair Jose Pons Pons, EEAP Co-Chair Jan van der Leun and UNEP OzonAction Branch Head Rajendra Shende, who are retiring.
Trairong Suwankiri, Deputy Prime Minister (Thailand), opened the High-level segment of MOP-22, and highlighted Thailand’s success in having phased-out more than 10,000 tonnes of CFCs. He stressed the most important issues under MOP-22’s consideration are: the ToR for the TEAP study of the replenishment of the MLF; the HFC amendment proposals; and the issue of ODS destruction.
MOP-22 elected by acclamation Steven Reeves (UK) as President; Hassen Hannachi, (Tunisia), Abid Ali (Pakistan) and Sonja Ruzin (Serbia) as Vice Presidents; and Michael Church (Grenada) as Rapporteur. Delegates also adopted the agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.22/1/Add.1).
MOP-22 President Reeves encouraged participants to submit any outstanding credentials to the Secretariat.
PRESENTATIONS OF ASSESSMENT PANELS ON THEIR QUADRENNIAL ASSESSMENT
Noting the Executive Summary had been released, and the full report would be available in early 2011, SAP Co-Chair A.R. Ravishankara (US) emphasized that the SAP findings strengthen its 2004 conclusions that the Montreal Protocol is achieving its objectives.
EEAP Co-Chair Janet Bornman (Denmark) presented on the EEAP’s findings on links between climate change, ozone depletion and UV radiation, noting, among other issues, human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles.
TEAP Co-Chair Lambert Kuijpers (the Netherlands) presented the preliminary TEAP assessment report, and outlined the content of each TOC report. In a short question period, participants discussed the TEAP’s proposed GWP classification scale and HCFCs in the foam sector.
PRESENTATION BY THE MULTILATERAL FUND
ExCom Chair Javier Ernesto Camargo Cubillos (Colombia) presented the work of the ExCom’s past three meetings (UNEP/OzL/Pro.22/8). He highlighted, among other things: progress on funding to support accelerated HCFC phase-outs; additional funding for low-GWP alternatives to HCFCs; and the development of an MLF Climate Impact Indicator to evaluate technologies for replacing HCFCs.
He outlined efforts by the UNDP, UNEP, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank to assist in implementation of the Protocol, particularly for Article 5 countries. He noted, inter alia, work on HCFC phase-outs and licensing systems, ODS destruction projects, and possible uses of carbon markets.
STATEMENTS BY HEADS OF DELEGATIONS
GRENADA reiterated its support for upgrading the post of Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat to ASG. JAPAN stressed that incentives for all parties to address ODS banks must be explored, and that the scope of the MLF should be clear, to avoid duplication. The US underscored the need to avoid undoing the Protocol’s achievements and said his country would not tolerate inaction based on bureaucratic excuses. INDONESIA highlighted its commitment to phasing out HCFCs, stressed the need to reduce halon dependency of aircraft and offered to host MOP-23. UGANDA said existing networks tackling illegal trade of ODS require strengthening at the national and regional levels.
ARMENIA outlined its efforts to phase-out the consumption of ODS. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA explained it has phased out 250 tonnes of CFCs and initiated implementation of its HCFC management plan. ZIMBABWE noted his country lacks feasible ODS disposal options, said a mobile destruction facility was necessary, and promoted natural refrigerants. LAOS PDR outlined its work in developing its HCFC management plan. Highlighting the importance of addressing ODS destruction, the EU stressed that innovative and collaborative ways to address banks to capture the climate benefits are required. SAMOA and the SOLOMON ISLANDS highlighted the need for assistance for ODS destruction and expressed interest in working with other Pacific island countries on this.
SERBIA described his government's ozone awareness-raising work with the education ministry. INDIA stressed that many policy issues on funding for HCFC phase-out are yet to be resolved, and emphasized HFCs are outside the scope of the Protocol. Highlighting the scope of the Protocol’s work ahead, KENYA called on all parties to be prepared to compromise. MONGOLIA stressed the importance of the involvement of the business community in meeting Protocol commitments. MALAWI described its efforts at phasing out methyl bromide in the agricultural sector.
BAHRAIN underscored its interest in supporting the HFC amendment proposal. The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO expressed concern over the low levels of financing for HCFC activities due to recent decisions of the ExCom. FSM said the best reason for phasing out HFCs was “because we can.” ANGOLA described a proposed initiative to prevent illegal trade with neighboring countries. NEW ZEALAND described its efforts to balance biosecurity priorities with ozone protection, through capture of methyl bromide used for QPS. Describing the reconversion of a foam factory, the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC said this was a key activity in phasing out HCFCs.
Financial mechanism: In the afternoon, delegates met to continue considering the text of ToRs on the evaluation of the financial mechanism and replenishment of the MLF. In the open session on replenishment, no consensus was found on the text remaining in square brackets, but participants agreed to consider compromise text proposed by one party and to return to the issue in a later session.
Parties then discussed the outstanding evaluation issues, in a closed session. Delegates considered operative issues, including questions of budgets and who should undertake the evaluation. They also discussed the text of the annex, and agreed to consider some compromise text drafted in informal consultations. The group agreed to meet again on Friday in an effort to complete its work.
ODS destruction: The contact group met on Thursday to resume consideration of a draft decision on environmentally sound management of ODS banks (UNEP/OzL.Pro.22/3 XXII/[L]). Delegates agreed to delete a paragraph calling on the ExCom to consider the funding of cost-effective destruction projects during the next replenishment period.
Delegates then discussed additional funding opportunities for the management of ODS banks. Many developed country parties recalled the seminar on the sound management of ODS banks held in July 2010, and called for including the GEF as a funding source, noting the opportunities for partnership and co-financing that the GEF presents. Disagreeing and calling for removal of all references to the GEF, one developing country party expressed concern that the GEF may give higher priority to other MEAs in their current and future replenishments, and had not provided adequate financing for destruction of ODS banks in the past. He stressed that all funding for the destruction of ODS banks should come from the MLF. The Secretariat briefed parties that, although the GEF replenishment is not as “robust as hoped for,” there may still be a small amount of funding available for possible investment in ODS destruction projects if, inter alia, POPs destruction could be carried out simultaneously. Trying to break the deadlock, one developed country party suggested inviting parties to explore the many possible opportunities for financial resources and synergies described in the document and presentations from the seminar for the sound management of ODS banks.
In the afternoon, noting that no consensus could be reached on the decision, the contact group suspended discussion. They agreed to reconvene briefly on Friday to discuss the way forward in future sessions.
QPS uses of methyl bromide: Co-chaired by Robyn Washbourne (New Zealand) and Tri Widayati (Indonesia), the contact group on QPS uses of methyl bromide met on Thursday afternoon.
The EU presented a revised CRP on the subject. Some parties did not agree to references to developing a strategic view on methyl bromide use for QPS, or to encouraging parties to report the main categories of use for methyl bromide. No consensus was reached in the group on these issues.
Budget Committee: The group continued consideration of an amended proposal by the Secretariat to upgrade the post of Executive Secretary to the level of ASG, which it said considered all parties’ concerns. One developed country party reiterated their inability to agree to the upgrade, and prefered that the wording be kept general to allow the President of the MOP-21 Bureau a “wide range of options for the extension” of the Executive Secretary’s term. The committee agreed to add a footnote on the Executive Secretary’s budget line (UNEP/OzL.Pro.22/4), requesting UNEP’s Executive Director and the UN Secretary-General “to explore any means to retain the current Executive Secretary until 2015,” dropping the reference to the ASG upgrade.
Delegates also discussed the Secretariat’s proposed draft decision on financial matters. On funding the evaluation of the financial mechanism, one delegate informed participants that current discussions in the financial mechanism contact group indicate that the required funds may either come from the drawdown, authorized by the parties, or from the MLF. One delegate informed delegates of another option put forward by the ToR group of having the UN’s joint inspection unit carry out the evaluation. Delegates agreed to finalize deliberations once the contact group on the financial mechanism had completed its work.
Informal group on low-GWP alternatives to ODS: Co-chaired by Blaise Horisberger (Switzerland) and Leslie Smith (Grenada), the informal group on low-GWP alternatives to ODS met briefly on Thursday afternoon.
Explaining that he had consulted with several parties, Co-Chair Horisberger introduced a draft decision requesting the TEAP to “review and update the report pursuant to decision XXI/9 and to provide a draft report to OEWG-31 and final report at MOP-23,” and the informal group agreed to it. The group also agreed to a draft factual report on its work, which stated the group’s decision to continue discussions at OEWG-31.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the high-level segment launched on Thursday with colorful Thai dancers, many delegates were absent from the plenary hall, instead convening in parallel to resolve outstanding issues still facing the contact groups. In reference to this apparent diligence, some delegates were left questioning: to what end? Despite lengthy deliberations in several groups, square brackets still remained for key issues, and some delegates left for the evening cultural reception wondering if their work over the week would lead to resolution of many (or any) significant issues.
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of MOP-22 will be available on Monday, 15 November 2010 online at: http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop22/