Report of main proceedings for 21 November 2017
Vienna Convention COP 11 and Montreal Protocol MOP 29
The preparatory segment of the Vienna Convention COP 11 and Montreal Protocol MOP 29 convened for its second day on Tuesday, 21 November 2017, in Montreal, Canada. In the morning, delegates discussed, inter alia: energy efficiency; safety standards; HFCs not listed in Annex F to the Protocol; and compliance and reporting issues.
In the afternoon, delegates began addressing issues under the Vienna Convention. They discussed the outcomes of the tenth Ozone Research Managers (ORM) meeting, the status of the Vienna Convention Trust Fund (VCTF), and items under other matters.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL ISSUES
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: In the morning, OEWG 39 Co-Chair Sylla invited parties to continue discussions on this item. INDIA highlighted the importance of considering opportunities related to maintaining and enhancing the energy efficiency of low- or zero-GWP equipment. ARGENTINA queried if funding for energy efficiency improvements will be available. The US stressed there is no compliance obligation on energy efficiency and thus no funding requirement. He further called for consideration on: energy efficiency in installations and maintenance in LVCs; historic incidental energy efficiency benefits of MLF-facilitated technology upgrades; and canvasing institutions working on energy efficiency.
KUWAIT stressed energy efficiency is part of the bigger picture of global environmental protection, and a compliance issue under the Montreal Protocol. CANADA said financial and technical support for energy efficiency goes beyond the scope of Decision XXVIII/2 (Decision related to the amendment phasing down HFCs). INDIA highlighted this decision deals with both financial and energy efficiency issues. BURKINA FASO supported holding an energy efficiency workshop, and called for the MOP to develop a common understanding on energy efficiency.
Delegates established a contact group.
In the afternoon, FSM introduced a CRP (UNEP/OzL.Pro.29/CRP.4), prepared with Morocco, which requests, inter alia, the TEAP form a task force with relevant experts to investigate energy efficiency in the context of the HFC phase-down.
CANADA and the EU, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, suggested addressing both the CRP proposed by FSM and the CRP proposed by Saudi Arabia and others as a single item in the energy efficiency contact group, as some points overlap.
Following discussion, SAUDI ARABIA and FSM expressed flexibility to address both CRPs in a single contact group, but underscored the need to address the CRPs as separate issues within the contact group. Delegates agreed.
SAFETY STANDARDS RELEVANT TO LOW-GWP ALTERNATIVES: OEWG 39 Co-Chair Newberg introduced this issue. Describing the CRP (UNEP/OzL.Pro.29/CRP.3) prepared jointly with China, the EU noted it requests, among others, the TEAP to prepare a tabular overview of RACHP standards, and liaise with other organizations to update this overview. CHINA said a key component of the Kigali Amendment is safety standards for low-GWP alternatives. SAUDI ARABIA expressed concern that the CRP requests the TEAP to lower safety standards. AUSTRALIA stated it is not the TEAP’s role to set safety standards.
THE PHILIPPINES, MEXICO, MAURITIUS, CAMEROON, MALAYSIA, and COMOROS urged for capacity building and technician training. NIGERIA called for financial support for Article 5 countries. The US recommended parties be “mindful” of other bodies leading on safety-standard setting. SAUDI ARABIA said the CRP detracts from the Kigali Amendment.
The EU clarified the CRP, stating: it aims to maintain or improve standards; neither the TEAP nor the Montreal Protocol set standards but rather inform parties on relevant safety standards; and national ozone units should address capacity building.
Co-Chair Newberg encouraged parties to discuss informally.
CONSIDERATION OF HFCs NOT LISTED IN ANNEX F TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Co-Chair Newberg introduced this item. SWITZERLAND presented the CRP prepared with Norway, highlighting the aim is to provide up-to-date information on HFCs not controlled by the Protocol and to encourage parties to stimulate low-GWP alternatives development. SAUDI ARABIA cautioned against “reopening the Kigali Amendment.” The US, supported by BURKINA FASO, welcomed periodic information, with the US cautioning against including fluorinated substances.
AUSTRALIA and SENEGAL preferred a simple information-focused decision. MAURITIUS and GABON welcomed the precautionary approach, noting that requesting information from the TEAP is in line with the Kigali Amendment. The EU supported information on emerging substances, saying the TEAP should look into alternatives as new high-GWP substances become commercially viable. SAUDI ARABIA opposed burdening the TEAP with tasks for which they have neither time nor capacity.
SWITZERLAND, on why such a decision is necessary, noted three substances identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are not currently commercially relevant, stressing that industries should be sensitized about these high GWP substances.
Co-Chair Newberg suspended discussion until a time could be identified for an informal meeting.
NOMINATION AND APPOINTMENT OF CO-CHAIRS AND MEMBERS OF THE TEAP AND ITS TOCS: Co-Chair Sylla introduced this item, noting many TEAP and TOC appointments expire in 2017. AUSTRALIA nominated Ian Porter (MBTOC) and Helen Tope (Medical and Chemicals TOC). BRAZIL nominated Roberto Peixoto (Refrigeration TOC) and Carlos Grandi (Halons TOC). The US nominated Helen Walter-Terrinoni (Foams TOC).
INDIA, supported by EGYPT, suggested TEAP members should have specific expertise, nominating Lambert Kuijpers who has been a “longstanding contributor” to the TEAP.
Co-Chair Sylla requested parties to send their nominations to the Secretariat.
CONSIDERATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF MONTREAL PROTOCOL BODIES FOR 2018: Co-Chair Sylla asked parties to consult regionally on their nominations for the ImpCom, the MLF ExCom and the Co-Chairs of the OEWG, saying that nominations must be submitted prior to the HLS on Thursday, 23 November.
COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING ISSUES CONSIDERED BY THE IMPCOM: ImpCom Vice-President and Rapporteur Leonard Marindany Kirui (Kenya) presented the outcomes of the 58th and 59th meetings of the ImpCom (UNEP/OzL.Pro.29/5 and Add.1-UNEP/OzL.Pro/ImpCom/59/2 and Add.1, UNEP/OzL.Pro/ImpCom/58/4). He introduced a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.29/CRP.2) that, among others, addresses Kazakhstan’s case of non-compliance on HCFCs, and addresses the requests for revising baseline data from Fiji, the Philippines, and Pakistan.
The draft decision was forwarded to the HLS for further consideration.
VIENNA CONVENTION ISSUES
TENTH ORM MEETING REPORT: ORM Co-Chair Kenneth Jucks presented the main recommendations from its tenth meeting (UNEP/OzL.Conv.11/5), inter alia, underscoring the need for: research on interlinkages between ozone and climate change; and ensuring future satellite systems continue collecting ozone-relevant data. The EU reiterated its commitment to provide support for long-term, geographically comprehensive ozone research. BENIN queried how to incorporate science in national-level decision making.
AUSTRALIA, speaking as a Vienna Convention COP 10 Bureau member, introduced a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Conv.11/CRP.1) which, inter alia, encourages parties to adopt and implement the ORM recommendations. CANADA and the US supported the CRP, with the US noting it would provide textual amendments.
Co-Chair Sylla said that the CRP would be forwarded to the HLS once the US has submitted their amendments.
STATUS OF THE GENERAL TRUST FUND FOR FINANCING ACTIVITIES ON RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATIONS RELEVANT TO THE VIENNA CONVENTION: A.R. Ravishankara, VCTF Advisory Committee Chair, gave a brief overview of the Trust Fund, noting that the VCTF needs to go beyond voluntary contributions by engaging non-traditional funding sources.
Sophia Mylona, Ozone Secretariat, presented on the status of the VCTF; stated that since its inception in 2003, the Fund has received US$355,381 from 11 countries as well as in-kind contributions; and highlighted activities carried out, such as inter-comparison and relocation of Dobson instruments, and workshops. She noted Germany has pledged €30,000 for VCTF-related activities.
Stressing the need for “quality data and homogenous data sets,” Geir Braathen, World Meteorological Organization, presented Dobson training sessions supported by the Trust Fund since COP 10. He said 10 instruments were calibrated and 34 participants trained, noting this could be extended with additional resources.
AUSTRALIA, speaking as a Vienna Convention COP 10 Bureau member, presented a CRP on financing the VCTF (UNEP/OzL.Conv.11/CRP.2), requesting, among others: the UNEP Executive Director to extend the VCTF to 2026; and the Secretariat to invite parties to make contributions.
The EU, US and KENYA expressed support for the CRP. Co-Chair Newberg encouraged interested parties to consult informally with Vienna Convention Bureau members and submit a revised decision.
OTHER MATTERS: Issue Raised by Saudi Arabia on Linkages between the HCFC Phase-Out and HFC Phase-Down: SAUDI ARABIA, supported by KUWAIT and BAHRAIN, urged parties to consider HAT countries’ specific challenges in simultaneously phasing-out HCFCs and phasing-down HFCs, asking for flexibility in the phase-out schedule, and clear guidance on which low-GWP alternatives should be considered for long-term policy planning. CANADA said a compliance deferral mechanism already exists for HAT countries, highlighting the Protocol allows for parties to have flexibility in selecting alternatives.
BURKINA FASO welcomed the proposed roadmap to be prepared by Saudi Arabia for consideration at OEWG 40. The US highlighted the need to define the technology path at a global level, and to understand the need for a temporary compliance deferral on the HCFC compliance schedule for HAT countries better.
SAUDI ARABIA, supported by IRAQ, highlighted that as HAT countries are net importers of air conditioning technologies, they need a signal from producers on low-GWP alternatives’ availability; and stressed that to be in compliance, the affected industries will need to begin to transition away from HFCs.
AUSTRALIA, the EU, and ARGENTINA supported further discussions to find a pragmatic way forward. KUWAIT stressed the request was for a general path forward in the air conditioning sector. MAURITIUS highlighted propane alternatives for air conditioning, but called for assistance in identifying producers and for capacity building for technicians.
MALDIVES drew attention to difficulties in HCFC phase-out in the fisheries industry, noting that with no feasible alternatives, affected countries will be in non-compliance.
Co-Chair Newberg said that this discussion will be noted in the meeting report and discussed at the next OEWG.
The Effects of Recent Hurricanes on Caribbean Islands: Underscoring adverse weather in 2017 and its consequent effects, GRENADA noted a CRP is being prepared to request MLF support due to hurricane damage negatively impacting Montreal Protocol implementation. MAURITIUS and SAMOA noted extreme weather affecting their respective countries. The US supported further work on the CRP.
SAUDI ARABIA underscored the need to draw a “clear line” on what should and should not be addressed under the Protocol. Co-Chair Newberg clarified that GRENADA’s CRP will address how the storms influence implementation of Protocol issues.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On the meeting’s second day, linkages to big picture issues were on everyone’s mind. Buoyed by the success of last year’s Kigali Amendment, some delegates were eager to advance discussions even further, to issues, some argued, linked to climate mitigation. Others countered, reminding parties to focus on long-standing concerns, such as HAT countries’ demand for viable low-GWP alternatives to HFCs. “The issue is not how long we can keep using HCFC-22, but rather how our industries transition safely and efficiently,” confided one delegate. In plenary, a dichotomy seemed to emerge, as non-HAT countries were willing to kick the can down the road—a pattern some said is becoming all too familiar at Montreal Protocol negotiations. With summer temperatures hitting new highs every year, it is evident that the Protocol needs to address these issues rather than following the habits of the past. As one delegate put it, “We need a plan, fast,” as he dashed off to the energy efficiency contact group.