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Report of main proceedings for 19 November 2014

Vienna Convention COP 10 and Montreal Protocol MOP 26

The Preparatory Segment of the Vienna Convention (VC) COP10 and Montreal Protocol (MP) MOP26 continued on Wednesday, 19 November 2014, in Paris, France. In the morning, delegates heard progress reports on discussions in the contact groups on the MLF replenishment, CUNs and EUNs, and monitoring of trade. Delegates also addressed the renomination and reappointment of co-chairs and members of the TEAP and its TOCs, compliance and reporting issues, report of the ninth meeting of the Ozone Research Managers (ORMs) of the parties to the VC, and the General Trust Fund.

In the afternoon and evening, delegates discussed the proposed amendments to the Montreal Protocol. Evening plenary revisited: the renomination and reappointment of co-chairs and members of the TEAP and its TOCs; and draft decisions on EUNs.

The Budget Committee and the contact groups on the MLF replenishment, CUNs and monitoring of trade also met during the day.

STATUS OF CONTACT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

Co-Chair McInerney invited contact group co-chairs to report on progress.

Jozef Buys (Belgium) reported that the contact group on MLF replenishment had shifted from exchanges with TEAP to discussion of the different elements that should compose the replenishment. Mikkel Sorensen (Denmark) reported that the contact group on CUNs had agreed on a draft decision that includes CUNs for Argentina, which it recommends forwarding to the HLS for adoption. Leslie Smith (Grenada) reported that the contact group on monitoring of trade had reached consensus on a revision of the draft decision.

Reporting back on the contact group for alternatives to ODS in the afternoon, Alice Gaustad (Norway) said the proposals received from the group had been inserted into the draft decision and invited parties to review the draft before the contact group meets again.

MONTREAL PROTOCOL ISSUES        

ISSUES RELATED TO EXEMPTIONS FROM ARTICLE 2 OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Nominations for EUEs for 2015 and 2016: Regarding a draft decision presented by CHINA on EUEs for laboratory and analytical uses of CTC for 2015, the EU asked for more time to consider it. A draft decision on CUEs for methyl bromide for 2015 and 2016 received no objections.

RENOMINATION AND REAPPOINTMENT OF CO-CHAIRS AND MEMBERS OF THE TEAP AND ITS TOCS: Co-Chair Mwendandu urged parties to consider the expiry of the current appointments of the two TEAP Co-Chairs at the end of 2014, consult during the day and return to this item in the afternoon. ITALY urged bearing in mind the need for gender balance on the TEAP and its TOCs. SAUDI ARABIA called for a contact group to consider representation from high-ambient-temperature countries so that their concerns are better reflected in TEAP work.

During evening plenary, Co-Chair Mwendandu invited parties to consider the draft decision on membership changes on the TEAP. ITALY, also on behalf of Colombia, the Netherlands and the UK, introduced the nominations of: Lambert Kuijpers (the Netherlands) as a Senior Expert of the TEAP; Ashley Woodcock (UK) and Marta Pizano (Colombia) as TEAP Co-Chairs for a four-year term; and Fabio Polonara (Italy) to the TEAP and as a new RTOC Co-Chair for a four-year term.

INDIA, with EGYPT, KUWAIT, ARGENTINA, IRAQ, CHINA, JORDAN, SAUDI ARABIA, URUGUAY, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN and BAHRAIN, requested that Kuijpers' term as a TEAP Co-Chair be extended for a transitional period of one or two years. The US said his role as a Senior Expert is a transitional arrangement.

Co-Chair Mwendandu invited parties to consult informally with the EU.

COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING ISSUES CONSIDERED BY THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE: ImpCom Chair Azra Rogović-Grubić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) reported on the 52nd and 53rd meetings of the Committee. She noted that: only one party has yet to report required data for 2013; 72 parties had reported by 30 June 2014; and the ImpCom encourages more parties to report early. She reported three cases of non-compliance involving Kazakhstan, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, and Guatemala reflected in three of the five draft decisions submitted to the HLS for adoption (UNEP/OzL.Pro.26/CRP.1). She said the other two draft decisions urged the Central African Republic to report its 2013 data as soon as possible, and granted requests from Libya and Mozambique to revise their baseline HCFCs consumption data. The plenary decided to forward the ImpCom draft decisions as a block to the HLS for adoption.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Co-Chair McInerney invited parties to return to the discussion initiated on the previous day. The US repeated its proposal for an informal group to discuss an appropriate mandate for a contact group to address all matters related to HFCs’ management, including the amendments.

COMOROS, supported by ARGENTINA, said the MP amendment was a political issue that should be discussed in plenary, where all countries could participate and translation facilities are available.

JORDAN, supported by EGYPT, OMAN, LEBANON and IRAQ, said many of the concerns raised by Article 5 countries over the proposed amendment remain unaddressed, and proposed an informal discussion of all matters relating to HFCs, without discussing the proposed amendments.

PAKISTAN, supported by ALGERIA and SAUDI ARABIA, said the proposed amendments do not fall within the purview of the MP, and opposed a contact group on grounds that a contact group is a formal body to fine-tune agreements, but there was no agreement on the amendment proposals. He proposed a workshop or seminar as a more suitable forum for exchanging information.

IRAN cautioned against mixing legal and moral approaches, saying the legal mandate of the MP does not extend to making up for the shortcomings of the climate regime. He asked for discussions on the amendment to be deferred until after the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol is adopted.

ARGENTINA noted that a number of unresolved issues need to be dealt with before making new commitments, including the MLF replenishment, and cited concerns related to untested HFCs alternatives and their costs.

CANADA said the proposed amendments were based on a principled stand, given the MP’s responsibility for encouraging the use of HFCs, and the VC provides a legal mandate to address the adverse effects of the ODS phase-out. He noted that while HFCs would eventually have to be phased down, delay would only make the process more difficult.

SAINT LUCIA urged countries to consider the compromise of forming an informal group that would only discuss contact group formation.

Summarizing the points raised by different parties, the EU tried to identify possible points of compromise. Co-Chair McInerney called a recess for parties to discuss possible compromise language on the way forward. After the break delegates discussed, and proposed amendments to, EU draft text. The plenary agreed text calling for convening informal discussions on: mechanisms for ensuring a sustainable phase-out of HCFCs in Article 5 parties, as well as all issues in relation to HFCs management for all parties; and how to address HFCs management in 2015. It was also agreed that two facilitators will report on the outcome of the discussions to the plenary.

Informal discussions took place in the evening.

CONSIDERATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF MONTREAL PROTOCOL BODIES FOR 2015: The Secretariat reported that not all nominations had been received and encouraged parties to submit outstanding nominations by Thursday morning.

VIENNA CONVENTION ISSUES

REPORT OF THE NINTH MEETING OF THE OZONE RESEARCH MANAGERS OF THE PARTIES TO THE VIENNA CONVENTION: Co-Chair Mwendandu introduced the item (UNEP/OzL.Conv.10/6). Michael Kurylo (US), Co-Chair of the ninth meeting of ORMs, reported on its outcomes and recommendations. He said that ORMs’ recommendations were formulated within the framework of four overarching goals: encompassing climate change in ozone layer protection efforts; maintaining and enhancing observational and analysis capabilities for climate and ozone layer variables; enhancing the VC Trust Fund for Research and Systematic Observation to support those goals; and capacity building. He recommended that a strategic plan for more effective Trust Fund utilization be developed, and a steering committee be set up to ensure effective and timely implementation, noting also specific projects for priority support in 2014-2016, as identified by the ORMs.

GEORGIA introduced a draft decision on the recommendations of the ninth meeting of the ORMs. The EU and AUSTRALIA emphasized the link between ozone layer and climate research. Proposing minor amendments, the US said the decision could help harmonize countries’ efforts in ozone layer monitoring.

Co-Chair Mwendandu announced that the amended CRP would be forwarded to the HLS for adoption.

STATUS OF THE GENERAL TRUST FUND FOR FINANCING ACTIVITIES ON RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATIONS RELEVANT TO THE VIENNA CONVENTION: Co-Chair McInerney introduced the report on the status of the General Trust Fund.

Highlighting the remaining balance of US$101,626 out of US$277,454 that the Trust Fund has received since its inception, the Secretariat invited parties to consider whether and how to extend it.

Among plans for the Trust Fund for 2014-2016, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) listed: relocation of old Dobson spectrophotometers; conducting more Dobson intercomparison campaigns; organizing a Brewer Users’ Group meeting and a training course for Asia; and donating additional Dobson instruments. For 2017 onwards, he identified the need for work on lower-cost instruments that are easier to operate.

GEORGIA introduced the draft decision on the General Trust Fund for Financing Activities on Research and Systematic Observation Relevant to the VC. AUSTRALIA, ITALY and the US queried the budgetary implications of the proposed steering committee. The Secretariat assured parties that its meetings would be covered by additional funding.

ITALY recommended, and parties agreed, to extend the Trust Fund until 2020. He also requested including a reference to gender balance, which was accepted.

The US introduced a number of amendments, among others: replacing “steering” with “advisory” committee; including the WMO as an observer and ORMs as members; and specifying that the committee would convene electronically or in the margins of other meetings. NORWAY supported a connection between the committee and ORMs.

Following informal consultations, parties agreed that the advisory committee’s mandate will include developing both a long-term strategy and a short-term action plan.

Co-Chair McInerney announced that the CRP as amended by parties would be forwarded to the HLS for adoption.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Groundhog Day continued at MOP26, as parties returned to the discussion on whether or not to set up an informal group to consider a contact group on the phase-down of HFCs. Both sides duly resumed reiterating well-worn positions, accusing each other of not listening, or of ignoring each other’s concerns. An attempt to kiss and break out of the time loop by negotiating a ruling of the Co-Chairs to discuss HFCs in 2015 initially resulted in a bracketed “non-committal mess“ of informal discussions, ways to address HFCs and paths forward. One delegate commented that parties that wanted the discussion to move to the UNFCCC seemed to be getting their way, as the text was starting to look suspiciously like it came from there.

The ruling, eventually adopted, was hailed as a milestone by some participants in the informal discussions that took place after plenary. Tomorrow, they said, is another day.

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]>.

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