Report of main proceedings for 1 November 2015
Montreal Protocol MOP 27
The Preparatory Segment of MOP 27 opened on Sunday, 1 November 2015, in Dubai, UAE. In the morning, delegates heard opening statements from dignitaries and discussed issues including: essential-use exemptions (EUEs); critical-use exemptions (CUEs); and the TEAP report on ODS alternatives.
In the afternoon, delegates addressed, inter alia, the outcome of the resumed OEWG 36, the proposed Montreal Protocol amendments, and compliance and data reporting.
OPENING OF THE SESSION
Co-Chair Emma Rachmawaty (Indonesia) opened the Preparatory Segment. Rashid Ahmed Mohammed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, UAE, underscored his country's longstanding commitment to the Montreal Protocol, and welcomed OEWG 36’s success in establishing a mandate for a contact group on HFC management.
Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, observed that the evolution of ODS controls under the Montreal Protocol follow a pattern, with early action by non-Article 5 parties, later action by Article 5 parties, and inclusion and tightening of control measures and schedules at appropriate times. She highlighted that additional obligations have been accompanied by supplementary funding for Article 5 parties. She said delegates are beginning to write the Protocol’s next phase by agreeing on a mandate for a contact group on HFCs management. She stressed that HFC discussions must be inclusive, build trust and consider the interlinkages of the eight challenges identified in the mandate.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA: Co-Chair Rachmawaty introduced the provisional agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/1). Delegates agreed to discuss under agenda item nine (potential areas of focus for the 2018 quadrennial assessments) nominations to replace the resigning Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) Co-Chairs, A. R. Ravishankara (US) and Ayite-Lo Nohende Ajavon (Togo), as well as TEAP organizational matters raised in the addendum to its 2015 progress report.
Delegates agreed to include under item 11 (other matters), inter alia: ODS releases from production processes; financial matters related to TEAP’s organizational issues; ODS disposal; and possible problems created by delayed transfer of funds from implementation bodies.
ORGANIZATION OF WORK: Co-Chair Paul Krajnik (Austria) introduced the organization of work. SAUDI ARABIA questioned whether the outcome of the OEWG and the proposed amendments should be discussed in plenary or in a contact group. Co-Chair Krajnik clarified that proponents need to present their amendments before discussing them in a contact group.
CONSIDERATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF MONTREAL PROTOCOL BODIES FOR 2016: Co-Chair Rachmawaty introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/2, UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/3 and draft decisions XXVII/[CC]-[EE]), saying that nominations should be forwarded to the Secretariat for consideration at the High Level Segment (HLS).
FINANCIAL REPORT OF THE TRUST FUND AND BUDGETS FOR THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Co-Chair Rachmawaty introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/3) and asked interested parties to join an open-ended budget committee.
ISSUES RELATED TO EXEMPTIONS FROM ARTICLES 2A–2I OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL
NOMINATIONS FOR EUEs FOR 2016: Co-Chair Rachmawaty presented the EUE nominations (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/2) noting, inter alia, one nomination from China for carbon tetrachloride (CTC) approved by the Chemicals Technical Options Committee (CTOC).
NOMINATIONS FOR CUEs FOR 2016 AND 2017: Methyl Bromide TOC (MBTOC) Co-Chair Ian Porter (Australia) presented on the recommendations for methyl bromide critical-use nominations (CUNs). He requested parties to report on stocks if applying for CUEs and to follow data submission timelines. He said the MBTOC: does not recommend Canada's CUE for strawberry runners in 2017; reduced Argentina's CUE request for tomatoes by an additional 5%; and approved Argentina's revised request on strawberries.
Noting that it disagrees with MBTOC's recommendation, CANADA withdrew its CUN and said it will consider submitting it in 2017. The US said it had collected additional information on available stocks and withdrew its CUN on cured pork. AUSTRALIA invited delegates to join a small discussion group to finalize a CRP on CUEs.
SOUTH AFRICA asked the MBTOC to re-consider its recommendation on South Africa's CUN, saying it cannot find a suitable alternative.
Co-Chair Rachmawaty suggested interested parties discuss this issue with Australia and proposed South Africa hold additional bilateral discussions with the MBTOC.
ISSUES RELATED TO ODS ALTERNATIVES
REPORT BY TEAP ON THE FULL RANGE OF ODS ALTERNATIVES: Co-Chair Krajnik introduced this item (decision XXVI/9, subparagraphs 1 (a)–(c)). TEAP Co-Chair Bella Maranion (US) said that considerations when updating the report included parties' updated information. She noted highlights, including: little change in the availability of emerging equipment in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector (RAC); significant changes in mitigation scenarios, including on cost estimates; and that no single definition for high ambient temperatures exists.
Lambert Kuijpers, TEAP member (the Netherlands), said the different scenarios consider three conversion periods. He noted that the most aggressive mitigation scenario showed the greatest decrease in global warming potential (GWP) impacts, while the least aggressive scenario showed the lowest decrease. He said delaying and extending conversion periods for the stationery air conditioning sector significantly affects overall climate impacts and that the most aggressive mitigation scenario is the cheapest.
Roberto De Peixoto (Brazil), TEAP member, said that without a universal definition for high-ambient temperature conditions, there is no clarity on what constitutes a high-ambient temperature country. De Peixoto stated that equipment and systems are designed for 36°Celsius, but high-ambient temperature countries require equipment that can operate in 46°Celsius, up to 52°Celsius.
Responding to questions, TEAP explained that: the model has many parameters, not just GDP and growth projections; the report’s maps illustrate different climate zones in which equipment has to work efficiently; the definitions and classifications take into consideration the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers methods.
PAKISTAN requested more information on new substances. SAUDI ARABIA asked TEAP to explore safety, energy efficiency, and economic and social costs. ARGENTINA requested analysis of the availability and timelines for alternatives in different world regions. SWITZERLAND asked for more precision on investment costs in HFC replacements.
CANADA announced it will propose a CRP on a renewed mandate for TEAP work on mitigation scenarios.
UPDATED INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY PARTIES ON THEIR IMPLEMENTATION OF PARAGRAPH 9 OF DECISION XIX/6: Co-Chair Rachmawaty noted that parties are encouraged to send the Secretariat information on activities to minimize ODS’ environmental impacts, and welcomed information provided by Canada, Mexico, Montenegro, Paraguay, Switzerland and the US.
OUTCOME OF THE RESUMED OEWG 36
Co-Chair Rachmawaty introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/12), underlining that most discussions occurred informally. A contact group was established.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL
Co-Chair Krajnik noted four amendment proposals submitted by: NORTH AMERICA (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/5); INDIA (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/6); the EU (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/7); and KIRIBATI, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITIUS, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA (FSM), PALAU, PHILIPPINES, SAMOA and SOLOMON ISLANDS (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/8). He reminded parties that a contact group will discuss these proposals.
The US presented North America's proposal for a two-step approach to an HFCs amendment. She suggested that step one consider adopting a scaled-back amendment in 2015, the “Dubai Amendment,” and step two negotiate the remaining provisions within additional meetings.
INDIA presented its proposal. He highlighted, inter alia: support for conversion costs; a 15-year grace period for Article 5 parties; and a division of the 19 HFCs into four categories based on their GWP and the availability of financially viable alternatives.
The EU highlighted its proposal’s emphasis on offering solutions and its ambitious phase-down schedule for non-Article 5 countries, beginning in 2019.
FSM welcomed progress on the HFC discussions and said any agreement must address financing, flexibility and fairness. He called for agreement on an amendment at MOP 27.
ISSUES RELATED TO THE PHASE-OUT OF HCFCS
Co-Chair Rachmawaty introduced the agenda item (Draft Decision XXVII/[B]). AUSTRALIA presented its proposal with the US and Canada, requesting the TEAP to provide additional information on, inter alia: sectors where essential uses for non-Article 5 countries will be required after 2020; and future needs for non-Article 5 countries in the RAC sector. The draft decision was forwarded to the HLS.
POTENTIAL AREAS OF FOCUS FOR THE ASSESSMENT PANELS’ 2018 QUADRENNIAL ASSESSMENTS
Co-Chair Krajnik introduced this agenda item. The EU requested additional time to finalize its CRP on the terms of reference for the 2018 assessment.
Co-Chair Krajnik invited nominations for the SAP. The US for NORTH AMERICA nominated David Fahey (US). Zimbabwe for the AFRICAN GROUP nominated Bonfils Safari (Rwanda). SWITZERLAND requested information about the candidates.
On TEAP organization, AUSTRALIA supported a Medical TOC, JAPAN said it is finalizing a CRP, and SWITZERLAND proposed parties guarantee secure funding for their candidates.
COMPLIANCE AND DATA REPORTING ISSUES
Implementaion Committee (ImpCom) President Nancy Seymour (Canada) reported on the 54th and 55th ImpCom meetings (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/9-UNEP/OzL.Pro/ImpCom/55/2 and Add.1). She noted that the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominica, Somalia and Yemen have yet to report for 2014. She reported non-compliance involving Libya and Bosnia and Herzegovina, noting both have submitted plans of action to return to compliance. She said that draft decision UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/CRP.3 calls for no further action for Bosnia and Herzegovina and close monitoring of Libya. Delegates agreed to forward the draft decision to the HLS.
ODS RELEASES FROM PRODUCTION PROCESSES: The EU introduced UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/CRP.2 and asked for more time to discuss the proposal with other parties.
FINANCIAL MATTERS ASSOCIATED WITH TEAP: SWITZERLAND explained concerns raised by the TEAP report addendum, suggested creating a voluntary trust fund to support participation in TEAP, and volunteered to work informally with other parties and draft a CRP.
TRANSFER OF FUNDS: Co-Chair Krajnik returned to the discussion on transfer of funds. PARAGUAY, supported by CUBA, HAITI, MOZAMBIQUE and NIGER, cautioned that delays in disbursing funds from implementing agencies could lead to parties’ non-compliance. ARMENIA asked what constitutes a “serious delay.”
CANADA explained that these issues are addressed by the ExCom. JORDAN noted the ExCom finances two types of projects: infrastructure and investment.
CUBA suggested the MOP “take note” of the issue, as a preventative approach.
ODS DISPOSAL: SAMOA, supported by GRENADA and CAMEROON, requested that this issue be included on OEWG 37’s agenda.
UNWANTED IMPORT OF PRODUCTS AND EQUIPMENT: KYRGYZSTAN presented its CRP (UNEP/OzL.Pro.27/CRP.4) submitted with Armenia, Belarus, the EU, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation on avoiding the unwanted import of products and equipment containing or relying on HCFCs. Co-Chair Rachmawaty suggested the MOP return to this CRP once it has been translated.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The first day of MOP 27 convened with an air of expectation, as participants were abuzz with the news that the resumed OEWG 36 session had agreed on a mandate for a contact group to discuss the feasibility and ways of managing HFCs. And while the mandate negotiations had been “a bumpy ride,” all went smoothly when establishing the contact group.
Delegates raised issues of finance and transfer of funds, with some saying this support is critical for timely implementation of projects to assist with compliance. Some participants observed that plenary discussions on these issues were swiftly dealt with to allow more time for discussion on HFCs, welcoming this momentous shift to focus on substantive issues on HFCs.