The high-level segment of COP 9 to the Vienna Convention and MOP 23 to the Montreal Protocol convened for its first day in Bali, Indonesia, on Thursday, 24 November 2011.
Throughout the day delegates convened in plenary throughout the day to hear high-level statements from heads of delegations.
Contact groups on replenishment, ODS alternatives, QPS use of methyl bromide, and process-agents and feedstocks worked throughout the day.
Patali Ranawaka, Minister of Environment, Sri Lanka, President of COP 8, emphasized the cooperative nature of participants in contributing to the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol. He stressed the need for increased funding of research activities, citing Sri Lanka’s complete phase-out of methyl bromide in 2006 in its tea plantation as a result of research into alternatives.
Deborah Owens (UK), MOP 22 President, hoped delegates would negotiate in a spirit of compromise and consensus. On replenishment, she stressed the importance of sending positive signals to Article 5 countries to sustain their efforts to phase out HCFCs and other remaining ODS.
COP 9 elected by acclamation Mikheil Tushishvili (Georgia) as President, Alain Wilmart (Belgium), Marissa Gowrie (Trinidad and Tobago), Ezzat Agaiby (Egypt), as Vice Presidents, and Arief Yuwono (Indonesia) as Rapporteur.
MOP 23 elected by acclamation Sianga Abilio (Angola) as President, Azra Rogovic-Grubic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Javier Ernesto Camargo (Colombia), as Vice Presidents, and Bernard Made (Canada) as Rapporteur.
Delegates also adopted the agenda (UNEP/OzL.Conv.9/1-UNEP/OzL.Pro.23/1).
PRESENTATIONS OF ASSESSMENT PANELS ON THEIR QUADRENNIAL ASSESSMENT
John Pyle reported on behalf of the assessment panels, that the Montreal Protocol continues to work effectively, noting that ODS levels in the atmosphere have declined, providing co-benefits to climate systems. He described three synthesis report findings on: coupled interactions of stratospheric ozone and climate change; potential climate implications of HFCs, which have low-ODP but high-GWP; and further control of methyl bromide.
Paul Newman presented key findings of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP): declining ODS levels; coupled ozone and climate change interactions; persistence of Antarctic and global ozone holes; and influences on global UV changes.
Janet Bornman explained that the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) examined the effects of ozone depletion and climate change on UV radiation in relation to human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, bio-geochemical cycles, air quality, and construction materials. Bornman also noted there would have been three times the amount of UV radiation without the Montreal Protocol. Nigel Paul emphasized that current and future change interactions contribute to the uncertainty of many environmental effects.
The TEAP 2010 Assessment Report was presented jointly by Co-Chairs Ian Rae (CTOC), Miguel Quintero (FTOC), Sergey Kopylov (HTOC), Marta Pizano (MBTOC), Lambert Kuijpers (RTOC), and Helen Tope (MTOC), who reported their respective TOCs. Tope presented the key conclusions, highlighting that: the Montreal Protocol is working, with progress in every sector and many ODS applications phased out world-wide; technology is not yet available for replacement of some ODS uses; 20-35% of present global use of methyl bromide can be replaced with alternatives available today; leapfrog technology is available in some applications; and banked ODS are leaking.
PRESENTATION BY THE MULTILATERAL FUND
Chair of the Executive Committee of the MLF, Patrick McInerney (Australia), outlined the work of the Executive Committee from its 62nd-64th meetings (UNEP/OzL.Pro.23/8), noting it had approved 349 projects and activities, equating to over US$270 million. He also noted, inter alia: the establishment of a window for ODS destruction for low-volume consuming countries; and the Committee’s progress in agreeing on guidelines for the production sector.
He outlined efforts by the UNDP, UNEP, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank to assist in implementation of the Protocol, particularly for Article 5 countries, including in: HCFC phase-outs, assessing new technology developments, progressing ODS destruction projects, and assisting newly appointed ozone officers.
STATEMENTS BY HEADS OF DELEGATIONS
SRI LANKA outlined its efforts in planting over one million trees, as well as completely phasing out CFCs. The MALDIVES underscored its efforts to become the first carbon-neutral country, and stressed the need for a mechanism under the MLF to fund projects based on ozone and climate co-benefits.
IRAN highlighted the importance of addressing energy efficiency and GWP issues in ozone projects. INDONESIA highlighted the need to explore incentives for all partners in ODS destruction and stressed that information sharing on alternatives should be complemented by capacity building and technological transfer.
Stating that stable and sufficient financing was necessary for Article 5 countries, CHINA said the upcoming UNFCCC COP may address HFC reduction, and called for increased cooperation between the Protocol and the UNFCCC.
JAPAN highlighted its effective and efficient technologies to destroy ODS, and offered to share these with Article 5 countries.
SWITZERLAND underscored the importance of addressing HFCs under the Protocol, cautioning that failure to do so may cause HFC emissions to offset the climate benefits of the Protocol. She also offered to host MOP 24 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The EU outlined its efforts to review its fluorinated gases legislation and to reach ambitious targets, and stressed the need for the Protocol to seize the opportunity to mitigate climate change in a cost-effective manner.
LAOS discussed its efforts in revising national legislation on ozone. CAMBODIA shared its experiences in phasing out halons, CFCs, and CTC. PANAMA emphasized the necessity for increased finance for Article 5 parties for institutional strengthening. INDIA stressed remaining challenges in ozone protection, including sustainable financing. GUINEA noted its intent to ratify the Copenhagen, Montreal, and Beijing Amendments.
KENYA highlighted the need to ensure that solving one environmental problem does not lead to the creation of another. PAKISTAN asked the Montreal Protocol to do whatever possible to cooperate on climate change and emphasized institutional strengthening as essential for the Protocol’s continued success. UZBEKISTAN described its successful national program and commitment to the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol.
ZIMBABWE described the challenges of safely disposing of ODS seized by customs officials, proposing local or mobile containment mechanisms for seized ODS. IRAQ requested special consideration of the high temperatures recently experienced in West Asia.
COTE D’IVOIRE said it intended to ratify all Protocol Amendments, and offered to host MOP 25. BAHRAIN stressed it requires technology and financial assistance, and objected to addressing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. PALAU said it will freeze consumption of HCFCs in 2013, contributing to achieving 10% HCFC reduction by 2015. MALAYSIA said HFCs should not be addressed under the Protocol and proposed that the MLF provide sufficient funds for destruction of ODS banks.
The SEYCHELLES requested consistent support for their efforts in meeting their obligations under the Protocol, and supported HFC amendment proposals. Nepal reported on its HPMP.
The REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN stated its commitment to: maintaining a country free of ODS; ensuring environmental rehabilitation and sustainability; and ratifying the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
In the late afternoon, the preparatory segment reconvened. Michael Church (Grenada) reported on his efforts to extend Marco González’s term as Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, and stated that the Secretary General has extended his tenure by two years, through October 2013.
The EU reported on the consultations on the draft decision on potential areas of focus for the 2014 quadrennial reports of SAT, EEAP, and TEAP (CRP.12), noting several amendments, and parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment for adoption.
BURKINA FASO informed parties it has withdrawn its proposed decision on mobilization of financing for the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs in Africa from sources other than MLF (CRP.2).
Parties agreed to forward the draft decision on endorsing a new Co-Chair of the CTOC and a senior expert of the TEAP (UNEP/OzL.Conv.9/3-UNEP/OzL.Pro.23/3, XXIII/[I]) to the high-level segment for its consideration.
REPLENISHMENT: Co-chaired by Jozéf Buys (Belgium) and Donnalyn Charles (Saint Lucia), the group met in the morning, afternoon, and in the early evening in a closed session. Parties discussed an overall replenishment range, and in the evening session began narrowing that range.
ODS ALTERNATIVES: The Contact Group, co-chaired by Mikkel Sørensen (Denmark) and Leslie Smith (Grenada), discussed and agreed on the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Conv.9/3-UNEP/OzL.Pro.23/3 XXIII/[J]) requesting TEAP to conduct a joint study with other scientific experts for consideration at the 32nd OEWG, to provide information on alternatives to HCFCs. Discussion focused on whether current use of CFCs as refrigerants in chillers with a long lifespan is included in the definition of “consumption” under countries’ Protocol obligations. Parties decided to remove proposed text asking the TEAP to consider availability and market penetration of alternatives, and exclude CFCs from the study. Also deleted were draft preambular paragraphs recognizing and expressing appreciation of a 2005 Special Report produced jointly with the IPCC on safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system, and text proposing to study the extent to which the Executive Committee’s funding guidelines provide for full incremental costing of the adoption of low-GWP HCFC alternatives.
PROCESS AGENTS AND FEEDSTOCKS: The Contact Group, chaired by Blaise Horisberger, (Switzerland) met during the afternoon and finalized the decision on process-agents (CRP.5). The EU then introduced its draft decision on feedstocks (CRP.4) which inter alia: calls on parties to refrain from commissioning new production facilities planning to use ODS as feedstocks; requests parties to provide a list of processes in which ODS feedstock is used, and those which have been converted; and requests TEAP to continue its work and provide information on alternatives to ODS for feedstock use. In the discussion, one party asserted that feedstocks were not controlled under the Protocol. Another party suggested refocusing the CRP resolving the discrepancy between reported and observed emissions of ODS, specifically CTC in feedstock uses. Parties agreed to work together informally to draft a revised decision.
ODS SERVICE TO SHIPS: In the contact group, co-chaired by Marissa Gowrie (Trinidad and Tobago) and Cornelius Rhein (EU), parties agreed to insert a paragraph requesting the Ozone Secretariat to work with relevant bodies, including the IMO and the WCO, on how these bodies address trade in ODS onboard ships, the use of ODS onboard ships, and to provide a general overview of the framework applied by these bodies to manage relevant activities. Parties debated a reference to calculating consumption of sales of ODS to ships, ultimately deleting the proposed paragraph to retain the focus on gathering information for MOP 24 to take an informed decision.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Increasing pressure on negotiators on Thursday came to boiling point in the contact group discussion of alternatives to ODS, as negotiators struggled to reach agreement on what seemed to be a simple request to TEAP to undertake another joint study with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
As preambular text referring to a previous ozone and climate study was dumped, one delegate noted in exasperation “an almost philosophical issue…of negating history”. Others expressed fears that the Protocol is entering dangerous territory, as positions begin to harden and what should be purely information gathering and technical work becomes increasingly politicized.
Simultaneously, the MOP 22 “open” North American Declaration on Low-GWP Alternatives began circulating again, apparently aiming to move signatories from 91 to over 100. While it was generally accepted that it was too late in the COP/MOP for the amendment proposals to gain traction, even proposal proponents wondered if the Declaration could muster enough groundswell by MOP 24 to bear any influence on those so deeply opposed to addressing HFCs under the Protocol.
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of COP 9/MOP 23 will be available on Monday, 28 November 2011 online at: http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop23/