Daily report for 19 November 2008
Viena Convention COP 8 and Montreal Protocol MOP 20
In the morning, delegates attended the opening of the high level segment. Delegates then convened in plenary throughout the day where they heard presentations by the assessment panels, the Multilateral Fund, and made country statements. Contact groups on methyl bromide, MDI essential use and campaign production, destruction, replenishment met in parallel throughout the day, the latter two in closed sessions.
Abdullah bin Mubarak bin Aaboud al-Midhadi, Minister of Environment, Qatar, and MOP-19 President, highlighted activities undertaken in Qatar on ozone protection, including launching a stratospheric ozone monitoring station along with National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and a center for applied research for creating ozone alternatives in cooperation with United Nations Environment Programme.
Djibo Leity Ka, Minister of Environment, Senegal, and President of the Bureau, explained that the Bureau had undertaken major activities since its last meeting three years ago in Dakar, Senegal, including strengthening of ozone monitoring and research networks.
Congratulating the Government of Qatar on a groundbreaking meeting, Marco González, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, underscored the importance of the paperless initiative, and the need for its extension to the global environmental system starting with the upcoming climate change negotiations in Požnan, Poland in December 2008.
Abdullah bin Mubarak bin Aaboud al-Midhadi introduced nominations for officers, and delegates elected Róbert Tóth, Hungary, as MOP-20 President and Patali Ranawaka, Minister of Environment, Sri Lanka, as COP-8 President, by acclamation. Delegates adopted the agenda of the COP-8/MOP-20 high level segment without amendment.
A.R. Ravishankara (US), Co-Chair Scientific Assessment Panel, discussed levels and trends of ODS, with an emphasis on HCFCs.
Jan van der Leun (Netherlands), Co-Chair Environmental Assessment Panel, recounted the interactions between ozone depletion and climate change, and discussed ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer as some of the side effects of the ozone hole.
Lambert Kuijpers (Netherlands), Co-Chair of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, updated the timelines for the Panel’s work including on halons, QPS and methyl bromide.
Albert Rombonot (Gabon), Chair, Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, described the Multilateral Fund’s work to phase out ODS and recognized several implementation agencies, including UNDP and UNIDO, for their in-country work. He enumerated that the Multilateral Fund has 50 agreements with national governments and has disbursed US$140 million to phase out ODS.
EGYPT highlighted the development of its halon bank, and announced that Egypt will host MOP-21, in Sharm el-Sheikh. Noting the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs, INDIA said that one of the challenges in meeting the freeze by 2013 is that alternatives without a high-GWP remain elusive.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA noted his country’s effort since 2000 to reduce ODS, saying it is now on track to reach zero consumption of CFCs by 2010. SRI LANKA explained that its next challenge was to phase out HCFCs, especially since consumption is increasing.
Highlighting its efforts towards ozone protection, UGANDA described the challenge of containing illegal trade in ODS where countries have porous borders, and advocated for transfer of technology to Article 5 countries for phasing out ODS.
MAURITIUS highlighted the urgent need to make bold decisions on destruction of ODS banks and replenishment of the Multilateral Fund. IRAQ described its project to phase out HCFCs and its establishment of a national ozone committee. DJIBOUTI noted the need for availability of HCFC substitutes and for financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund.
The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC highlighted specific activities in his country including training of refrigeration technicians. Noting that the Montreal Protocol benefits both ozone layer and climate system, the US stressed the need to destroy ODS banks and to find ways of replacing HCFCs with substances with low, or neutral, GWP.
SOUTH AFRICA suggested that Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centers should also undertake work on implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
The EU urged delegates to avoid resting on past achievements, and said the Multilateral Fund should avoid indirectly funding production of HCFCs and avoid products with high GWP. JORDAN said it had eliminated 70 percent of ODS and that it was initiating a renewable energy fund. LEBANON informed delegates it had exceeded the requirements of the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol, and advocated for the establishment of a pan-Arab body to address ozone issues.
TANZANIA said it has phased out 80 percent of its CFC consumption, and that training of professionals to organize recovery and recycling programs is necessary. LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC stated that it has established an import/export licensing system to regulate trade in ODS.
CAMEROON described its awareness campaign to inform the public about ozone issues and its capacity-building workshops for phytosanitary specialists who use ODS, but stated that illicit trafficking of ODS remains a problem. YEMEN recounted its successful phase-out of CFCs from aerosols and fire extinguishers. MACEDONIA described its elimination of CFCs in government departments. BURUNDI described its efforts to phase out CFCs. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES outlined work to combat illegal trade in ODS including enacting laws on importing and licensing of ODS. BURKINA FASO highlighted its need for technical and financial support for the development of an HCFC management plan.
JAPAN said there is a need to focus on facilitating the phase-out of HCFC in Article 5 countries and said it would assist through technology transfer. BANGLADESH explained that the transition to non-CFC based MDIs is a time consuming process and that a CFC free MDI is not yet available.
A representative of FINLAND, on behalf of Expert Group of Technology Transfer of the UNFCCC, said that if HCFCs increase as a result of the Montreal Protocol, it will contribute to climate change and urged cooperation between the Montreal Protocol and the UNFCCC.
MOZAMBIQUE explained it has reduced CFC and methyl bromide imports, but was seeking further partnerships in technology transfer, institutional capacity building and financial support. CROATIA highlighted its efforts to phase out ODS, but said an efficient system for recovery, recycling and destruction of ODS was required. INDONESIA urged ODS producers to do more to prevent the export of banned ODS. In response to the historic agreement on HCFCs at MOP-19, SERBIA announced that it is convening a high level briefing on the HCFC phase out, scheduled to convene in Belgrade, in March, 2009.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM informed delegates that it is on-track to meet its commitments, and thanked implementing agencies. CAMBODIA stressed that capacity building of personnel in the national ozone unit was a priority. IRAN said it had established a national ozone network, including comprehensive training on appreciation of the data and ODS tracking.
ARMENIA stated it has achieved an 85 percent reduction in CFC consumption, and is working toward a total phase out of CFCs by 2010. MALAYSIA reported its CFC consumption in 2007 was well below its commitments under the Montreal Protocol. KENYA described how most remaining ODS are contained in functioning and still-needed refrigerators and air conditioners, which will make them difficult to collect.
VENEZUELA noted the need to fight illicit trade in ODS, and for clear and specific actions regarding methyl bromide regulation. KUWAIT called for regulations and a schedule for the phase out of HCFCs.
CHINA said that there is a lack of mature and feasible alternatives to HCFCs, and thus total HCFC phase out would be a long process. BRAZIL reported that it has eliminated about 90 percent of ODS, and noted the value of programmes to collect, transport, and store ODS. TRINIDAD and TOBAGO said they have a multi-sectoral policy approach for phasing out ODS, which includes the implementation of the freeze and quota systems for CFCs. CUBA noted that it was leading an energy revolution in phasing out CFCs in domestic refrigerators.
AFGHANISTAN requested the Multilateral Fund to consider the difficulties faced by Afghanistan and Iraq to achieve targets set out for the ODS phase out. PHILIPPINES noted its work to reduce CFCs and phase out of HCFCs. PAKISTAN explained that with support from the Multilateral Fund, refrigeration and foam based industries in Pakistan have switched from use of CFCs to ozone friendly technologies. TURKEY stated that it does not produce ODS, has banned all CFC imports, and is ready to implement an accelerated phase-out schedule for HCFCs.
METHYL BROMIDE: The contact group on methyl bromide met throughout Wednesday and discussed the draft decision on actions by Parties to reduce methyl bromide use for QPS (UNEP/OZL.PRO.20/CRP.5), and the proposals by the US and the EC for a draft decision on methyl bromide critical use exemptions for 2009-2010 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.20/CRP.9 and UNEP/OzL.Pro.20/CRP.12). After days of circular discussion around how TEAP would approach a study of methyl bromide uses in QPS, participants gravitated towards a multi-stage approach, beginning with TEAP reviewing all information on volumes and uses of methyl bromide for QPS, to establish if it could be used to adequately report specific methyl bromide QPS uses. Regarding CUEs, participants agreed to merge the US and EC documents into one, which has been provisionally approved.
MDI ESSENTIAL USE/CAMPAIGN PRODUCTION: The contact group first discussed the remaining preambular paragraphs in the draft decision on campaign financing proposed by the US. Delegates agreed to acknowledge that while CFC production and consumption in Article 5 countries will cease in 2010, essential use exemptions will be possible. Delegates also clarified that campaign production constitutes a one-time essential use exemption for the multi-year period determined by a party to phase out CFC-based MDIs. Delegates then returned to the draft decision on amendment of the terms used in past decisions on essential uses to extend their applicability to Article 5 parties’ nominations for essential use exemptions. They agreed to a deadline of MOP-21, after which no essential uses shall be approved for Article 5 parties, unless they have submitted at least a preliminary plan of action regarding phase out of MDIs for consideration by OEWG-29. While many Article 5 parties insisted on a December 31, 2009, deadline for approval of MDI inhalers in Article 5 countries to be eligible for consideration for essential use exemptions, many Article 2 countries preferred December 31, 2008, arguing that it was counterproductive to approve new products up to the final phase-out date. Delegates could not reach agreement and the meeting was suspended until Thursday to allow time for informal consultations.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Delegates attending the first day of the high level segment listened to repetitious calls for adequate financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund to phase out HCFCs and destroy ODS. Those sipping coffee in the corridors were heard muttering that their fingers were crossed for a good outcome on replenishment of the Multilateral Fund. The twenty four members of the replenishment contact group and the two Co-Chairs, however, remained behind closed doors and suffice it to say that by the time they broke for the gala dinner, the Article 5 and Article 2 group positions stood at US$580 million versus US$400 million.
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