Highlights and images for 7 November 2019


Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

The penultimate day of the thirty-first meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 31) convened on Thursday, 7 November 2019, in Rome, Italy. The High-Level Segment opened with statements from dignitaries. Sergio Costa, Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, welcomed guests, and urged parties to work together “to shoulder our responsibilities to ensure the protection of the environment for the future.” Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, underscored the interconnectedness of environmental challenges, stating “nothing short of universal ratification of the Kigali Amendment is acceptable.” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, Holy See, on behalf of Pope Francis, cited aspects of a successful model of environmental protection and integral human development, highlighting the Montreal Protocol as an example. Qu Dongyu, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General, highlighted the impact that sustainable food chain can have on agriculture and food production. MOP 30 President Liana Ghahramanyan noted that it is difficult to overestimate the vital role of the ozone layer and its benefits to life on earth.

The high-level roundtable, on the Montreal Protocol’s contribution to the cold food supply chain, described national and global action plans to expand and promote cold chain infrastructure. The Assessment Panels presented their synthesis report for the 2018 Quadrennial Assessment. Key messages included, inter alia:

  • 2019 marks the smallest ozone hole since 1983, but this is due to unusual meteorological conditions;
  • the decline of methyl bromide in the atmosphere has halted;
  • CTC emissions are higher than expected due to unaccounted emission sources and a longer than expected CTC lifetime; and
  • understanding banks of ozone depleting substances (ODS) is key for understanding ozone recovery.

The Chair of the Multilateral Fund’s (MLF) Executive Committee (ExCom) described the Fund’s activities over the intervening year.

The MOP then heard statements from heads of delegations, with many noting national activities to phase-out ODS and prepare for the HFC phase-down.The preparatory segment convened briefly in the afternoon to hear updates on outstanding agenda items. Contact groups and informal discussions took place throughout the day.Over the course of the day, delegates were seen rushing in and out of meeting rooms as they tried to find common ground on outstanding agenda items. As they did so, many were reminded that the success of the Protocol is due to the fact that it doesn’t work in isolation. As Cardinal Parolin had reminded delegates in the morning, a successful environmental agreement “is grounded in the knowledge that everything is connected.” For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB).

(L-R) Sergio Costa, Italian Minister of Environment, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, The Vatican, Liana Ghahramanyan, Armenia, Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP, Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat


Cardinal Pietro Parolin, The Vatican, and Inger Andersen, UNEP


Sergio Costa, Italian Minister of Environment


Cardinal Pietro Parolin, The Vatican


Qu Dongyu, FAO


Liana Ghahramanyan, Armenia


Mohamed Mubarak Bin Daina, Chief Executive, the Supreme Council for Environment, Bahrain


Delegates review their notes

A view of the roundtable


Khadeeja Naseem, Deputy Minister of Environment, Maldives


René Castro-Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Development at FAO


Jose Raul Rios, Supply Chain and Project Manager at Agropecuaria Malichita


Geeta Menon, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India


Roberto Morassut, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy


Delegates reviewing meeting documentation


A delegate takes a shot of the roundtable


Bintony Kutsaira, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Malawi

Roundtable participants pose for a group photo


Gilbert Bankobeza, Ozone Secretariat, shares a laugh with Joseph Malongo, Tanzania


Delegates in discussion


Philip Chemouny, Canada, presents as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol


Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, Megumi Seki, Deputy Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat and Nigel Paul, EEAP Co-Chair


John Pyle, SAP


Delegates share a laugh


Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Nigeria


Besma Jebali, Tunisia


Ramal Ferrera, Bahamas


Lamin Dibba, The Gambia


Tadahiko Ito, Japan


Celeste López Quiros, Costa Rica


Bakhrom Kuchkarov, Uzbekistan


Ferenesh Mekuria Gobena, Ethiopia


Around the Venue

The delegation from India

UN Environment OzonAction team and friend

Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat and Sergio Costa, Italian Minister of Environment

René Castro-Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Development, and Gilda Maria Torres Ferreira, Paraguay

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, The Vatican, greets a delegate

Jacqueline Nyanjui and Martha Mulumba, Ozone Secretariat


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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For MOP 31, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz