Montreal Protocol MOP 22
The twenty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol convenes from 8-12 November 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand. The preparatory segment will take place from Monday to Wednesday, and the high-level segment will convene on Thursday and Friday. During the meeting delegates are expected to consider decisions on a range of issues, inter alia: environmentally sound management of banks of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and ODS destruction; terms of reference for the replenishment and for an evaluation of the financial mechanism; proposals to amend the Protocol to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); essential uses; quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) issues; critical use nominations; polyols; and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) supply to ships.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OZONE REGIME
Concerns that the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from CFCs and other anthropogenic substances were first raised in the early 1970s. At that time, scientists warned that the release of these substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations, and harm humans through higher rates of skin cancers, cataracts and weakened immune systems. In response to this growing concern, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened a conference in March 1977 that adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to guide future international action on ozone protection.
VIENNA CONVENTION: In May 1981, the UNEP Governing Council launched negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer and, in March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. The Convention called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange, but did not impose obligations to reduce the use of ODS. The Convention now has 196 parties.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL: In September 1987, efforts to negotiate binding obligations to reduce the use of ODS led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Protocol introduced control measures for some CFCs and halons for developed countries (non-Article 5 parties). Developing countries (Article 5 parties) were granted a grace period allowing them to increase their ODS use before taking on commitments. The Protocol currently has 196 parties.
Since 1987, several amendments and adjustments to the Protocol have been adopted, adding new obligations and additional ODS, and adjusting existing control schedules. Amendments require ratification by a defined number of parties before they enter into force, while adjustments enter into force automatically.
LONDON AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: Delegates to the second Meeting of the Parties (MOP-2), which took place in London, UK, in 1990, tightened control schedules and agreed to add ten more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform. To date, 195 parties have ratified the London Amendment. MOP-2 also established the Multilateral Fund (MLF), which meets the incremental costs incurred by Article 5 parties in implementing the Protocol’s control measures and finances clearinghouse functions, including technical assistance, information, training, and the costs of the MLF Secretariat. The Fund is replenished every three years, and has received pledges of over US$2.8 billion since its inception.
COPENHAGEN AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-4, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1992, delegates tightened existing control schedules and added controls on methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons and HCFCs. MOP-4 also agreed to enact non-compliance procedures and to establish an Implementation Committee. The Implementation Committee examines cases of possible non-compliance by parties, and makes recommendations to the MOP aimed at securing full compliance. To date, 192 parties have ratified the Copenhagen Amendment.
MONTREAL AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-9, held in Montreal, Canada, in 1997, delegates agreed to a new licensing system for the import and export of ODS, in addition to tightening existing control schedules. They also agreed to ban trade in methyl bromide with non-parties to the Copenhagen Amendment. To date, 181 parties have ratified the Montreal Amendment.
BEIJING AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-11, held in Beijing, China, in 1999, delegates agreed to controls on bromochloromethane and additional controls on HCFCs, and to reporting on methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications. At present, 165 parties have ratified the Beijing Amendment.
MOP-15 AND FIRST EXTRAORDINARY MOP: MOP-15, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003, resulted in decisions on issues including the implications of the entry into force of the Beijing Amendment. However, disagreements surfaced over exemptions allowing the use of methyl bromide beyond 2004 for critical uses where no technically or economically feasible alternatives were available. Delegates could not reach agreement and took the unprecedented step of calling for an “extraordinary” MOP. The first Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP-1) took place in March 2004, in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to critical-use exemptions (CUEs) for methyl bromide for 2005 only. The introduction of a “double-cap” concept distinguishing between old and new production of methyl bromide was central to this compromise. Parties agreed to a cap on new production of 30% of parties’ 1991 baseline levels, meaning that where the capped amount was insufficient for approved critical uses in 2005, parties were required to use existing stockpiles.
MOP-16 AND EX-MOP2: MOP-16 took place in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 2004. Work on methyl bromide exemptions for 2006 was not completed and parties decided to hold a second ExMOP. ExMOP-2 was held in July 2005, in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to supplementary levels of critical use exemptions (CUEs) for 2006. Under this decision, parties also agreed that: CUEs allocated domestically that exceed levels permitted by the MOP must be drawn from existing stocks; methyl bromide stocks must be reported; and parties must “endeavor” to allocate CUEs to the particular use categories specified in the decision.
COP-7/MOP-17: MOP-17 was held jointly with the seventh Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (COP-7) in Dakar, Senegal, in December 2005. Parties approved essential-use exemptions for 2006 and 2007, supplemental CUEs for 2006 and CUEs for 2007, and production and consumption of methyl bromide in non-Article 5 parties for laboratory and analytical critical uses. Other decisions included a US$470.4 million replenishment of the MLF with for 2006-2008, and agreement on terms of reference for a feasibility study on developing a monitoring system for the transboundary movement of controlled ODS.
MOP-18: MOP-18 took place in New Delhi, India, from 30 October - 3 November 2006. Parties adopted decisions on, inter alia: future work following the Ozone Secretariat’s workshop on the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Technical and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP); difficulties faced by some Article 5 parties manufacturing CFC-based metered dose inhalers (MDIs); treatment of stockpiled ODS relative to compliance; and a feasibility study on developing a system for monitoring the transboundary movement of ODS.
MOP-19: MOP-19 took place in Montreal, Canada in September 2007. Delegates adopted 29 decisions, including on: an accelerated phase-out of HCFCs; essential-use nominations and other issues arising out of the 2006 reports of the TEAP; critical-use nominations for methyl bromide; and monitoring transboundary movements and illegal trade in ODS.
COP-8/MOP-20: MOP-20 was held jointly with COP-8 of the Vienna Convention in Doha, Qatar in November 2008. Parties agreed to replenish the MLF with US$490 million for 2009-2011 and adopted other decisions concerning, inter alia: the environmentally sound disposal of ODS; approval of 2009 and 2010 CUEs for methyl bromide; and compliance and reporting issues. This meeting was also the Protocol’s first paperless meeting.
MOP 21: MOP-21 took place in Port Ghalib, Egypt, from 4-8 November 2009 and adopted decisions on: alternatives to HCFCs; institutional strengthening; essential uses; environmentally sound management of banks of ODS; methyl bromide; budget; and data and compliance issues. Delegates considered a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs, but this was not agreed.
CURRENT ODS CONTROL SCHEDULES: Under the amendments to the Montreal Protocol, non-Article 5 parties were required to phase out production and consumption of: halons by 1994; CFCs, CTC, hydrobromochlorofluorocarbons and methyl chloroform by 1996; bromochloromethane by 2002; and methyl bromide by 2005. Article 5 parties were required to phase out production and consumption of hydrobromochlorofluorocarbons by 1996 and bromochloromethane by 2002. Article 5 parties must still phase out: production and consumption of CFCs, halons and CTC by 2010; and methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by 2015. Under the accelerated phase-out of HCFC adopted at MOP-19, HCFC production and consumption by Article 2 countries was to be frozen in 2004 and phased-out by 2020, while in Article 5 parties, HCFC production and consumption is to be frozen by 2013 and phased-out by 2030 (with interim targets prior to those dates, starting in 2015 for Article 5 parties). There are exemptions to these phase-outs to allow for certain uses lacking feasible alternatives.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The Executive Committee of the MLF held its sixty-first meeting from 5-9 July 2010 in Montreal, Canada. The Committee approved investment projects and work programme activities with a value of approximately US$21.4 million, plus US$1.6 million in support costs for bilateral/implementing agencies. It also approved the first tranches of HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs) for Cambodia, Croatia and Ghana.
OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP: The thirtieth meeting of the Montreal Protocol’s Open-ended Working Group (OEWG-30) convened in Geneva, Switzerland from 15-18 June 2010. Parties discussed, among other things, issues related to: the financial mechanism; HCFCs and their alternatives; polyols; and environmentally sound management of banks of ODS. Parties also considered issues concerning exemptions for ODS uses, including: essential- and critical-use exemptions for 2011 and 2012; transitions to CFC-free MDIs; laboratory and analytical uses of ODS; and use of ODS as process agents. OEWG-30 also considered two proposals, from the Federated States of Micronesia and from the US, Canada and Mexico, for amendments to the Montreal Protocol to control HFCs.
TEAP AND TOCs: Several of the Technical Options Committees (TOCs) met between May and October 2010 to further their work in the lead-up to MOP-22. The work of the TOCs and the Task Force are included in the TEAP’s 2010 reports, which will be considered at MOP-22.
IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE: The forty-fifth meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-Compliance Procedure convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 4-5 November 2010. The Implementation Committee considered information provided by the Secretariat of the MLF on relevant decisions of the Executive Committee of the Fund and on activities carried out by implementing agencies and non-compliance related issues. Its recommendations will be considered at MOP-22.
This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]> is written and edited by Melanie Ashton, Kate Harris, Tallash Kantai, Kate Neville, and Kunbao Xia. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>, +1-646-536-7556 or 320 E 46th St., APT 32A, New York, NY10017-3037, USA. The ENB Team at MOP-22 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.