Report of main proceedings for 11 December 2000

Montreal Protocol MOP 12

On the first day of MOP-12, delegates met in Plenary to hear opening remarks, adopt the agenda and begin the work of the preparatory segment. Delegates considered draft decisions relating to: the need for further adjustments to the phase-out schedule for developing countries for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs); reporting of data; ratification of the Convention, Protocol and its Amendments; the assessment by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) of a long-term strategy for the collection, storage, disposal and destruction of ozone-depleting substances (ODS); measures to facilitate the transition from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)- based metered-dose inhalers (MDIs); essential-use-exemption applications; new ODS; and a request by Kyrgyzstan to be classified as a Party operating under Article 5. Delegates also considered a request by Slovenia to no longer be listed as an Article 5 Party. Changes in TEAP membership were also proposed.

Contact groups were established on the phase-out schedule for HCFCs for developing countries and on the transition from CFC-based MDIs. A sub-group on budgetary matters was also established. The contact group on HCFCs and the budget group met in the afternoon. Plenary did not reconvene for an afternoon session.

PLENARY

Co-Chair Milton Catelin (Australia) opened MOP-12. Fidele Hien, Minister for the Environment and Water of Burkina Faso, welcomed participants to Ouagadougou. He hoped that the meeting would encourage environmental protection in his country, where soil degradation and desertification are great concerns. He said Burkina Faso has signed and ratified all major environmental conventions and highlighted the country's efforts to address the use and import of ODS under the Montreal Protocol.

Michael Graber, Officer in Charge of the Ozone Secretariat, welcomed delegates on behalf of UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Töpfer. He highlighted several items on the agenda. On reporting of ODS data, Graber noted that 94.7% of Parties had reported data for 1997, 1998 and 1999, allowing baselines for CFC and halon targets to be established for most Article 5 Parties. He highlighted the role played by national ozone units, funded by the Multilateral Fund, in achieving this result. Concerning new ODS, he remarked that hexachlorobutadiene, the new ODS notified by Canada, is the fourth new ODS to recently appear on the market.

Co-Chair Catelin thanked Burkina Faso for its hospitality in hosting MOP-12 and called upon delegates to work expeditiously through the agenda.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Adoption of the agenda: The EC requested that the draft decision on facilitating the transition from CFC-based MDIs be added to the agenda. The BAHAMAS, on behalf of the Caribbean Community, requested that the draft decision on the control of the export of mislabeled products and equipment (UNEP/OzL.Pro.12/CRP.1) be discussed along with the agenda item on prevention of illegal trade in ODS and products containing ODS. This was agreed and delegates adopted the agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.12/1). Delegates next considered draft decisions before MOP-12 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.12/8).

THE NEED FOR FURTHER ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PHASE-OUT SCHEDULE FOR HCFCs FOR ARTICLE 5 PARTIES: The EC reintroduced the EU proposal for further adjustments to the phase-out schedule for Article 5 Parties. He recommended the establishment of a contact group to discuss options on this matter. He expressed flexibility regarding how Parties arrive at the 2040 phase-out date and the options for best meeting the objective of accelerated HCFC phase out. INDIA, supported by NIGERIA on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, CHINA, IRAN, ARGENTINA and the BAHAMAS, objected to the EC proposal for an accelerated HCFC phase out in Article 5 Parties. He highlighted the difficulties for industry, and the risk that the phase out of CFCs in developing countries would be jeopardized. CHINA underscored the need to consider alternatives rather than discuss frequent adjustments. The G-77/CHINA said that a discussion on further adjustments was premature. He supported the establishment of a contact group but only for informational purposes. The BAHAMAS, supported by INDIA and CHINA, requested that the terms of reference of the contact group be clearly spelled out. GREENPEACE identified several environmental and commercial reasons for developing countries to accelerate the phase out of HCFCs, including commitments by major corporations to stop purchasing equipment using HCFCs in 2004. At the EC's suggestion and Brazils acquiescence, Co-Chair Catelin requested Brazil to facilitate discussion on the issue and report back to Plenary on Tuesday, 12 December 2000.

REPORTING OF DATA: The BAHAMAS requested clarification on how to ensure that adjusted data be reflected in the Secretariat database.

RATIFICATION: JORDAN announced its ratification of the Beijing Amendment. NORWAY encouraged all Parties to ratify the Amendments to the Protocol early, and said that its instrument of ratification of the Beijing Amendment had been sent to the UN.

COLLECTION, STORAGE, DISPOSAL AND DESTRUCTION OF ODS AND EQUIPMENT CONTAINING ODS: On the TEAP assessment of a long-term strategy for the collection, storage, disposal and destruction of ODS and equipment containing such substances, CANADA said textual amendments had been made to the draft decision submitted at OEWG-20. On the request to the TEAP to consider possible linkages to other international treaties regarding the issue of disposal, the US suggested including reference to the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. SWITZERLAND, with FRANCE speaking on behalf of the EU, suggested also including a reference to the recently negotiated convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs). BRAZIL, supported by PANAMA, the BAHAMAS, CANADA and BURKINA FASO, questioned the appropriateness of including reference to a convention that has not yet been formally completed. SWITZERLAND underscored that the POPs convention should be in place by the time of the report of the proposed task force on destruction technologies.

MEASURES TO FACILITATE TRANSITION FROM CFC-BASED MDIs: With regard to the draft decision on measures to facilitate transition from CFC-based MDIs, CUBA suggested including reference to investment projects in technology transfer as part of the need for technical, financial and other assistance to developing countries.

The EC highlighted the efforts of Costa Rica in laying the foundation for the draft decision at MOP-11. He suggested the establishment of a contact group on the matter, underscoring the importance of such a forum for discussing and modifying the draft proposal. BRAZIL, JAPAN, CANADA, CHINA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and NEW ZEALAND supported the establishment of a contact group.

NEW ZEALAND and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested greater flexibility in allowing each country to achieve its targets according to its public health needs. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC underscored the need to maintain the exemptions for the essential use of CFC-based MDI products approved for treatment of asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in non-Article 5 parties. CANADA welcomed the idea of a transition period towards CFC-free MDIs.

JAPAN expressed its support for a provision in the draft decision enabling the transfer of MDIs between manufacturing companies. BRAZIL requested clarification of issues such as financing and requested adding language on promoting the transfer of technologies between countries during the transition period. GREENPEACE requested developed countries to provide funds to developing countries to support the transfer of technologies.

ESSENTIAL-USE EXEMPTION APPLICATIONS: Co-Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) invited comments on the draft decision on essential-use exemption applications. Parties offered no comments and the draft decision granting essential-use exemptions to some non-Article 5 Parties was accepted.

NEW ODS (INFORMATION ON HEXACHLOROBUTADIENE): CANADA recalled that hexachlorobutadiene has an ODP of 0.07, but is classified as a high production volume chemical by the OECD. He said Canada had forwarded additional information on this chemical to the Secretariat in the hope that TEAP and the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) will examine it in more detail, but that he did not expect a specific decision at this Meeting. Co-Chair Catelin confirmed that no specific decision was needed, and said that Canadas comments would be noted in the report.

GREENPEACE noted that hexachlorobutadiene is toxic and carcinogenic, and has an ODP similar to that of some ODS already controlled by the Protocol. He advocated a "no tolerance" approach to new ODS to send a clear message to industry, and proposed to amend the Protocol to add an "umbrella clause" that would automatically place new ODS on a "fast track" phase out. He added that, if there was no substitute for the new ODS, manufacturers could request a critical-use exemption. He also called on Parties to place hexachlorobutadiene, along with chlorobromomethane and n-propyl bromide, two other new ODS, on the control list under the Protocol. As an immediate measure, he called on Parties to adopt a declaration discouraging the production, promotion and use of these new ODS, along with national legislation banning their import and export.

REQUESTS FOR CHANGES IN CLASSIFICATION OF ARTICLE 5 PARTIES: Delegates agreed to Kyrgyzstans request that it be considered an Article 5 Party under the Protocol. They also agreed to Slovenias request to be taken off the list of Article 5 Parties.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT AND BUDGET FOR THE TRUST FUND OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Delegates agreed to convene a sub-group to address issues relating to this item. The sub-group will be chaired by Co-Chair Ashe.

CHANGES IN TEAP MEMBERSHIP: The TEAP suggested that: Jonathan Banks (Australia) replace both Tom Batchelor (EC) and Rodrigo Rodriguez-Kabana (USA) as Chair of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (TOC); Ahmad M Gaber (Egypt) replace Jorge Corona (Mexico) as Co-Chair of the Solvents TOC; and Madhava Sarma (India) be instated as senior expert member. Parties offered no comments and the proposed changes were accepted.

CONTACT GROUPS

HCFC CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on the need for further adjustments to the phase-out schedule for HCFCs for Article 5 Parties, chaired by Everton Vargas (Brazil), met in the afternoon. The group engaged in an exchange of information and views on the EU proposal. While delegations' positions remained divided on issues such as TEAPs activities, the EU agreed to incorporate the different comments and suggestions into a revised proposal to be circulated on Tuesday, 12 December.

SUB-GROUP ON BUDGETARY MATTERS: The sub-group on budgetary matters completed its work. A draft decision will be presented in Plenary on Tuesday, 12 December.

IN THE CORRIDORS

MOP-12 got off to a smooth but uneventful start, as the relaxed atmosphere of Burkina Faso seemed to filter through to the meeting itself. Delegates obeyed the Co-Chairs urging to work expeditiously by getting through most of the agenda for the meeting in the morning session. Even the EU proposal to tighten HCFC commitments for developing countries, perhaps the most difficult issue for MOP-12, generated few fireworks. While some delegates suggested MOP-12 might turn out to be the quietest MOP ever, others guarded against complacency, warning that surprises happen when you least expect them.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: Plenary will reconvene at 10:00 am to consider draft decisions regarding the prevention of illegal trade in ODS and products containing ODS and other matters. Plenary is also expected to consider the proposed adjustment to the Montreal Protocol relating to Annex E (proposed correction to the Beijing Adjustments).

CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on measures to facilitate the transition from CFC-based MDIs will meet at 9:00 am in Annex II.

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