The first day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) opened with delegates paying their respects to Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, who died in October this year. Molina’s research, conducted with Sherwood Rowland, was instrumental in showing that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could decompose the stratospheric ozone; this is the science that led to the formation of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
For the Montreal Protocol to continue achieving positive results, one of the issues COP 12(I)/MOP 32 has to grapple with is how to ensure the Multilateral Fund (MLF) can continue its work to support developing country (Article 5) parties in meeting their obligations under the Protocol. Parties spent much of their allotted time today discussing how best to ensure this could happen, given that no decision will be taken on the replenishment for the period 2021-2023 without in-person negotiations taking place.
Many parties supported the proposal to rollover unspent funds from the current fiscal period (the triennium 2018-2020) to allow the MLF Secretariat to continue their work in 2021. There was, however, a request for language explicitly calling for a replenishment decision to be taken in 2021. There was also a question on whether there were sufficient funds available to roll over to ensure that the MLF Secretariat could continue its operations. In the same vein, there was also a proposal for an Extraordinary MOP (ExMOP) to be held in 2021 to take a final decision on the MLF Replenishment 2021-2023.
A contact group was established to consider both these proposals in further detail.
Parties also briefly considered the financial reports and budgets of the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol trust funds. A budget committee was established to discuss these in further detail and will meet from Tuesday through Thursday outside of the core negotiating hours.
COP 12(I)/MOP 32 is meeting online from 23-27 November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2:00 – 4:00 PM East Africa Time.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin will publish a summary and analysis of the meeting on Monday, 30 November 2020.