Identifying and monitoring rogue emissions of ozone-depleting substances was at the top of the agenda for day two of the combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part II) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-third Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(II)/MOP 33). Delegates convened in the preparatory segment to discuss the unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), and also consider how best to monitor any future emissions of this nature.
The Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) provided an update on the unexpected emissions of CFC-11, announcing a sharp decline since it was first identified in 2018. Lauding this announcement, parties thanked the SAP and TEAP for their efforts to address this issue, and their timely response to requests for information on this matter. The SAP and TEAP are the backbone of the Convention, providing scientific information on issues relevant to parties. During Sunday’s discussions, delegations drew attention to the highly sensitive nature of the issue and called for any further discussions to be held at a face-to-face meeting.
While the news on the decline of CFC-11 emissions was welcome, delegates began to address a new concern: the fact that there are gaps in the global coverage of atmospheric monitoring of controlled substances. Following an EU proposal to start addressing monitoring gaps, in their discussion in plenary, parties lauded the proposal as a first step in addressing a complex issue. Some raised questions related to the potential additional burden that would be placed on developing country (Article 5) parties to fulfil the requirements of the decision.
To further discussions, COP 12/MOP 33 established a contact group on gaps in monitoring, co-chaired by Ulrika Raab (Sweden) and Samuel Paré (Burkina Faso). This group held its first meeting on Sunday, in parallel with the Budget Committee which was established on Saturday.
COP 12(II)/MOP 32 is meeting online from 23-29 October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2:00 – 4:00 PM East Africa Time.
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