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Report of main proceedings for 20 November 2014

Vienna Convention COP 10 and Montreal Protocol MOP 26

The High-Level Segment (HLS) of the Vienna Convention (VC) COP10 and Montreal Protocol (MP) MOP26 opened on Thursday, 20 November 2014, in Paris, France. The Preparatory Segment continued its work in contact groups throughout the day.

In the morning, during the HLS, delegates heard statements from heads of delegation as well as an update on outstanding work from the Preparatory Segment, including the Budget Committee and contact groups on the MLF Replenishment and Alternatives to ODS.

Statements from heads of delegation, and contact groups continued into the afternoon.

In the evening, participants attended a reception hosted by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and the Ozone Secretariat.

STATUS OF CONTACT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

Co-Chair McInerney granted more time to the contact group on MLF Replenishment and informed delegates that the informal discussion on the MP amendments has been postponed until Friday morning.

PREPARATORY SEGMENT

MONTREAL PROTOCOL ISSUES: Issues Related to Exemptions from Article 2 of the Montreal Protocol: Nominations for EUEs for 2015 and 2016: Following the EU’s statement that it had no objection to the CRP on China’s EUEs for laboratory and analytical uses of CTC for 2015, Co-Chair Mwendandu announced that the decision would be forwarded to the HLS for adoption.

Releases, Breakdown Products and Opportunities for Reduction of Releases of ODS: The EU reported that, following discussions with India, they had decided to await the outcome of forthcoming assessments and take their findings into account next year. Along with the US, they noted their dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of a contact group that had been formed on one of the draft decisions.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

The HLS opened with a short video about Mario Molina, who was recently awarded the UNEP Champion of the Earth Lifetime Award.

COP9 President Nino Tkhilava (Georgia) highlighted the importance of adequate funding and capacity building for further ozone research and monitoring, and called on delegates to look favorably at the decision on financial needs submitted by the Bureau. MOP25 President Oleksandr Sushko (Ukraine) described Ukraine’s commitment to protecting the ozone layer.

Ozone Secretariat Executive Secretary Tina Birmpili noted the international community’s progress in phasing out ODS, highlighting the significant climate benefits achieved. She reiterated the international community’s commitment to continue moving on this path of success despite funding difficulties and recent challenges in the HFCs negotiations.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of Officers of the Vienna Convention COP10: COP10 elected by acclamation: César Vinicio Montero Suarez (Guatemala) as President; Mikkel Sorensen (Denmark), Sianga Abilio (Angola) and Abdullah Islam Jakob (Bangladesh) as Vice-Presidents; and Gulmira Sergazina (Kazakhstan) as Rapporteur.

Election of Officers of the Montreal Protocol MOP26: MOP26 elected by acclamation: Rodrigo Siles Lora (Bolivia) as President; Mikkel Sorensen (Denmark), Anna Paulo Samo Gudo Chiochava (Mozambique) and Abdullah Islam Jakob (Bangladesh) as Vice-Presidents; and Liana Ghahramanyan (Armenia) as Rapporteur.

Adoption of the Agenda of the High-Level Segment of the Vienna Convention COP10 and the Montreal Protocol MOP26: MOP26 President Siles Lora invited parties to adopt the HLS agenda (UNEP.OzL.Conf.10/1/Rev.1 & UNEP.OzL.Pro.26/1/Rev.1), which they did without amendment.

Organization of Work: President Montero proposed that the items be addressed in the order that they appear on the agenda. He informed delegates that the HLS may need to be suspended to allow the Preparatory Segment to finish its work. Delegates agreed.

Credentials of Representatives: MOP26 President Siles Lora urged all delegations that have not yet presented credentials to do so as soon as possible.

PRESENTATIONS BY THE ASSESSMENT PANELS ON THE STATUS OF THEIR 2014 QUADRENNIAL ASSESSMENT AND EMERGING ISSUES: SAP Co-Chairs Paul Newman and A.R. Ravishankara presented on SAP’s assessment, which focuses on ODS and changes in the ozone layer, and on how increases in HFC levels may offset climate benefits achieved by the MP.

EEAP Co-Chair Nigel Paul presented on EEAP’s Assessment, saying that the MP’s success in preventing large increases in UV radiation has now been quantified, and the scale of health damage avoided is beginning to be quantified.

TEAP Co-Chair Bella Maranion reviewed issues raised by the TOCs in TEAP’s assessment, including that: civil aviation’s slow progress in replacing halons will likely result in future EUNs; HTOC suggests parties revisit the global approach to halons bank management in order to avoid a severe supply disruption; CFC phase-out for MDIs is almost complete; QPS consumption of methyl bromide is increasing in Article 5 parties; and HCFC-22 is still widely used in new and existing AC equipment in Article 5 countries.

PRESENTATION BY THE CHAIR OF THE MLF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON THE WORK OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Premhans Jhugroo (Mauritius), Chair of the MLF ExCom, presented on the 72nd and 73rd ExCom meetings, reporting, inter alia, that: 140 HPMPs have been approved for Article 5 countries, along with the first HCFCs production phase-out plan; and the ExCom will consider proposals for demonstration projects for low-GWP alternatives to HCFCs at its 75th and 76th meetings.

STATEMENTS BY HEADS OF DELEGATION AND DISCUSSION ON KEY TOPICS: On HFCs, INDIA called for: a TEAP report on consumption; demonstration projects on viable, energy-efficient alternatives; a grace period for developing countries based on CBDR; financial assistance; and technology transfer. ZIMBABWE called upon MP parties to avoid high-GWP alternatives in HCFCs phase-out and to promote ozone- and climate-friendly chemicals in the RAC sector. CHINA emphasized that the HCFCs phase-out depends on the availability of alternative solutions.

UAE showcased their implementation efforts and offered to host MOP27 in Dubai. COOK ISLANDS urged parties to explore hydrocarbon alternatives to refrigerant R134a, which, although compliant with the MP, has a high GWP. ERITREA highlighted his country’s 10% reduction target in HCFC-22 consumption by 2015.

MALAYSIA stressed the need for viable alternatives to HCFCs, transfer of environmentally sound and affordable technologies, and adequate financial assistance. IRAQ emphasized the need for continued implementation assistance, particularly with regard to HCFCs alternatives in the AC sector. MYANMAR called for technical and financial support, and measures to improve the cost effectiveness of achieving MP objectives. DJIBOUTI noted the role of international technical and financial support, capacity building of importing agencies, and qualified customs agents and refrigerant technicians in meeting MP objectives.

SAUDI ARABIA said it was unacceptable to ask Article 5 countries, which had already demonstrated their commitment to the MP, to implement actions that “belonged under other conventions.”

The REPUBLIC OF CONGO called for the MLF to continue financial support to developing countries until 2030 to help them phase out ODS. CUBA called for the UNFCCC and MP to work in concert on HFCs. ANGOLA said that 27 years after signing the MP, much work remains to meet the objectives of the Protocol. ZAMBIA expressed support for discussion on further amendments to the MP. UGANDA expressed willingness to explore avenues to phase in ODS alternatives that are both ozone- and climate-friendly. ARMENIA supported establishing a contact group to develop an MP amendment on technical aspects of HFCs phase-out, leaving the political part to the UNFCCC. BANGLADESH said that as a country vulnerable to climate change, it supported the phase-down of all high-GWP ODS under the MP. MACEDONIA recognized that the MP approach and experience could be applied for managing HFCs in all applications.

RWANDA said that if HFCs are not controlled effectively, their use in developing countries will continue to grow. MOZAMBIQUE highlighted the support of the MLF as crucial to ensuring technology transfer for HCFCs’ phase-down. MALDIVES highlighted the challenge of phasing out HCFCs in the fisheries sector. TANZANIA said creating a viable platform to address HFCs could provide a way to strengthen synergies between the climate and ozone regimes.

Describing national efforts to address ODS, including thorough strengthened community participation, VENEZUELA contrasted the success of the MP with the lack of progress in the climate regime. INDONESIA said HCFCs alternatives should be technically proven and economically and commercially viable. ARGENTINA called for ODS production and consumption processes that are sustainable and reduce risks to human health and the environment.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA supported the proposed amendments on HFCs and called for synergies between the MP and Kyoto Protocol in phasing out HFCs. The EU expressed conviction that the MP has the institutions and capacities to overcome challenges to HFCs’ phase-down. JAPAN stated that reducing ODS production and consumption has contributed to sustainable development. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC called on non-Article 5 countries to increase funding to help developing countries respond to the challenges of reducing and eliminating HFCs. BRAZIL highlighted that it would go beyond the HCFCs phase-out target in 2015, and stressed the importance of a robust MLF replenishment. CAMBODIA supported proposals to amend the MP to phase down HFCs. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO supported discussing inclusion of HFCs under the MP, and encouraged further investigation into illegal ODS trade and mechanisms to address it.

MAURITIUS highlighted the importance of leapfrogging to ozone- and climate-friendly alternatives, and expressed hope that the informal discussions on HFCs would conclude at the present meeting. EGYPT called for a TEAP report on HFC substitutes in the AC sector, particularly for countries with high ambient temperatures. MALAWI highlighted a lack of cost-effective alternatives to HCFCs. MONGOLIA supported the proposed amendments on HFCs.

KYRGYSTAN supported discussions on proposed amendments to the MP and said that investment in a green economy will yield major dividends in the future. SINGAPORE encouraged TEAP to do further work on finding technically feasible, environmentally sound and economically viable ODS alternatives suited to different countries’ varying circumstances. PAKISTAN highlighted difficulties with phasing out HCFCs in SMEs and the servicing sector.

IN THE CORRIDORS

As the COP/MOP entered its penultimate day and it became clearer that no breakthrough on HFCs was likely, minds turned to the other elephant in the room: the MLF replenishment. During the HLS, several Article 5 delegations made a point of saying that a robust replenishment was critical. The MLF Replenishment contact group met all day behind closed doors, even foregoing the evening’s champagne reception to try to narrow the differences. “We’re doing what we should have been doing yesterday,” lamented one participant, “finally talking numbers.” “It’s going slow because it took two rounds just for Article 5 countries to accept the upper limits of the band we’re negotiating within,” said another, “now it’s a game of splitting the difference.” Settling in for what was expected to be a long night of negotiations, one observer was heard explaining that it is ultimately a matter of how long it will take Article 5 countries to accept that donors have limited “wiggle room,” and how long it will take donors to finally resort to their mildly more generous fallback positions.

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of Vienna Convention COP10 and Montreal Protocol MOP26 will be available on Monday, 24 November 2014, online at: http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop26/

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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