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Vienna Convention COP 10 and Montreal Protocol MOP 26

The twenty-sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP26) and the tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (COP10) begins today, 17 November 2014, in Paris, France. The preparatory segment will take place from Monday to Wednesday. The high-level segment will take place on Thursday and Friday.

Delegates will address a number of issues throughout the week. Combined issues for consideration include the financial reports, budgets and extension of the trust funds for the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol. The MOP will consider, inter alia: the Multilateral Fund (MLF) replenishment; the availability of recovered, recycled or reclaimed halons; measures to facilitate monitoring trade in hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and substituting substances; ozone-depleting substances (ODS) alternatives; and proposed amendments to the Protocol. The COP will also consider the report of the ninth meeting of the ozone research managers of the parties to the Vienna Convention and the status of the general trust fund for financing activities on research and systematic observations relevant to the Vienna Convention.


Concerns that the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other anthropogenic substances first arose in the early 1970s. At that time, scientists warned that releasing 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, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) conference held in March 1977 adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to guide future international action.

VIENNA CONVENTION: Negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer were launched in 1981 under the auspices of UNEP. In March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. It called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange, but did not impose obligations to reduce ODS usage. The Convention now has 197 parties, which represents universal ratification.

MONTREAL PROTOCOL: In September 1987, efforts to negotiate binding obligations to reduce ODS usage 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 has 197 parties.

Since 1987, several amendments and adjustments 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; adjustments enter into force automatically.

LONDON AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: Delegates to MOP2, held in London, UK, in 1990, tightened control schedules and added ten more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform. The London Amendment has been ratified by 197 parties. MOP2 also established the MLF, which meets the incremental costs incurred by Article 5 parties in implementing the Protocol’s control measures and finances clearinghouse functions. The Fund is replenished every three years.

COPENHAGEN AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP4, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1992, delegates tightened existing control schedules and added controls on methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons and HCFCs. MOP4 also agreed to enact non-compliance procedures. It established an Implementation Committee (ImpCom) that examines possible non-compliance and makes recommendations to the MOP aimed at securing full compliance. The Copenhagen Amendment has been ratified by 197 parties.  

MONTREAL AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP9, held in Montreal, Canada, in 1997, delegates agreed to: a new licensing system for importing and exporting ODS, in addition to tightening existing control schedules; and banning trade in methyl bromide with non-parties to the Copenhagen Amendment. The Montreal Amendment has been ratified by 197 parties.

BEIJING AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP11, held in Beijing, China, in 1999, delegates agreed to controls on bromochloromethane, additional controls on HCFCs, and to reporting on methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications. The Beijing Amendment has been ratified by 196 parties.

MOP15 AND FIRST EXTRAORDINARY MOP: MOP15 was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003. It resulted in decisions on issues including the implications of the entry into force of the Beijing Amendment. Delegates could not reach agreement on exemptions allowing methyl bromide usage beyond 2004 for critical uses, where no technically or economically feasible alternatives were available, and called for an “extraordinary” MOP. The first Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP1) took place in 2004 in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to critical-use exemptions (CUEs) for methyl bromide for 2005 and introduced the “double-cap” concept distinguishing between old and new production of methyl bromide as a compromise.

MOP16 AND EXMOP2: MOP16 took place in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2004. Work on methyl bromide exemptions for 2006 was not completed and parties decided to hold a second ExMOP. ExMOP2 was held in 2005 in Montreal, Canada. Parties agreed to supplementary levels of CUEs for 2006. Parties also agreed, inter alia, that: CUEs allocated domestically that exceed permitted levels must be drawn from existing stocks; and methyl bromide stocks must be reported.

COP7/MOP17: MOP17 was held jointly with COP7 of the Vienna Convention in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005. Parties approved essential-use exemptions (EUEs) 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 for 2006-2008, and agreement on terms of reference (TOR) for a feasibility study on developing a monitoring system for the transboundary movement of controlled ODS.

MOP18: MOP18 took place in New Delhi, India, in 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 (IPCC) and the Technology 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.

MOP19: MOP19 took place in Montreal, Canada, in 2007. Delegates adopted decisions on: an accelerated phase-out of HCFCs; critical-use nominations for methyl bromide; and monitoring transboundary movements of, and illegal trade in, ODS. Parties also adopted an adjustment accelerating HCFCs’ phase-out.

COP8/MOP20: MOP20 was held jointly with COP8 of the Vienna Convention in Doha, Qatar, in 2008. Parties agreed to replenish the MLF with US$490 million for 2009-2011 and adopted other decisions, including on: the environmentally-sound disposal of ODS; approval of 2009 and 2010 CUEs for methyl bromide; and compliance and reporting issues.

MOP21: MOP21 took place in Port Ghalib, Egypt, in 2009 and adopted decisions on: alternatives to HCFCs; institutional strengthening; environmentally sound management of ODS banks; methyl bromide; and data and compliance issues. This was the first meeting at which delegates considered, but did not agree to, a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) submitted by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Mauritius.

MOP22: MOP22 took place in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2010 and adopted decisions on, inter alia: the TOR for the TEAP study on the MLF replenishment and the evaluation of the financial mechanism; and assessment of technologies for ODS destruction. Delegates considered, but did not agree to, two amendment proposals to address HFCs under the Protocol, one submitted by the US, Mexico and Canada, and the other submitted by the FSM.

COP9/MOP23: COP9/MOP23 took place in Bali, Indonesia, in 2011 and adopted decisions on, inter alia: a US$450 million replenishment of the MLF for 2012-2014; updating the nomination process and recusal guidelines for the TEAP; the treatment of ODS to service ships; and additional information on alternatives. Delegates also discussed the two proposed amendments to the Protocol to address HFCs, but no agreement was reached.

MOP24: MOP24 took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2012 and adopted decisions on, inter alia, the review by the Scientific Assessment Panel of RC-316c; procedural issues related to the TEAP and its subsidiary bodies; and data and compliance issues. MOP24 did not reach agreement on two draft decisions: clean production of HCFC-22 through by-product emission control; and amendment of the Protocol to include HFCs.

MOP25: MOP25 was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2013. The MOP adopted 21 decisions, including on: the TOR for the study of the 2015-2017 MLF replenishment; implementation of the Montreal Protocol with regard to small island developing states (SIDS); and a TEAP report on ODS alternatives. MOP25 did not reach agreement on: amendment proposals; additional funding for the MLF for implementing the Protocol to maximize the climate benefits of the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs; and the harmonization and validation of the climate impact fund.


HFC MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP: The Workshop on HFC Management convened from 11-12 July 2014 in Paris, France, immediately prior to the thirty-fourth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG34). Convened as a result of discussions at MOP25, the sessions addressed four aspects: technical; legal; finance and technology transfer; and policies and measures. Issues raised included: the safety, efficiency and availability of suitable alternatives; using the MLF to assist in technology transfer and capacity building; political will; the respective roles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol; the role of the private sector; and the challenges of possible HFC substitution faced by high ambient temperature countries.

OEWG34: OEWG34 convened in Paris, France, from 14-18 July 2014. Delegates considered a number of issues, including, inter alia: the 2014 progress report of the TEAP; the TEAP report on the 2015-2017 MLF replenishment; EUE and CUE nominations; and the outcomes of the HFC Management Workshop. OEWG34 also considered two proposals to amend the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs, one from the FSM and Morocco; the other from US, Canada and Mexico.

CURRENT ODS CONTROL SCHEDULES: Under the amendments and adjustments 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; bromochloromethane by 2002; and CFCs, halons and CTC by 2010. Article 5 parties must still phase out production and consumption of methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by 2015. Under the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs adopted at MOP19, HCFC production and consumption by non-Article 5 parties were frozen in 2004 and are to be phased out by 2020, while in Article 5 parties, HCFC production and consumption were frozen in 2013 and are to be 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 that lack feasible alternatives.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]> is written and edited by Elena Kosolapova, Ph.D., Kate Louw, Keith Ripley and Anju Sharma. The Digital Editor is Sean Wu. The Editor is Pamela 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 European Commission (DG-ENV and DG-CLIMATE) and the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)). General Support for the Bulletin during 2014 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Ozone Secretariat and the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Wallonia, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD). 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, NY 10017-3037, USA. The ENB team at COP 10/MOP 26 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.