Report of main proceedings for 2 December 1999

Vienna Convention COP 5 and Montreal Protocol MOP 11

The High-level Segment of MOP-11/COP-5 opened with keynote speeches from Jiang Zemin, President of China, Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, and Vassily Tselikov, President of COP-4 and MOP-10. Delegates adopted the agenda, elected the Bureaux of COP-5 and MOP-11, and heard presentations by: the Assessment Panels; UN agencies and the GEF; and the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee Chair. Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 14 Parties delivered statements outlining national policies and experiences. Informal consultations convened to consider: proposed adjustments and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol; replenishment of the Multilateral Fund; and the Beijing Declaration.

PLENARY

Jiang Zemin, President of China, welcomed delegates to the High-level Segment and stated that all governments face a common responsibility to address environmental problems. He noted that China has adopted a sustainable development strategy which, in addition to tackling domestic environmental problems, is contributing to global environmental protection. He said developed countries should recognize the impact of their development on the global environment and assist developing countries in strengthening environmental protection while pursuing economic development.

Shafqat Khakakel, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, on behalf of Executive Director Klaus Tpfer, noted the unprecedented success of the ozone regime, with an 85% reduction in production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in industrialized countries. He stated that 2000 would be a year of truth, as the result of the mandated CFC freeze in developing countries would then be available. He reported that, without the Montreal Protocol, ozone depletion would have been 10 times greater and an additional 20 million cases of skin cancer would have occurred. He expressed concern over the impact of global warming on ozone depletion, the substitution of HFCs/PFCs for CFCs and the transfer of MB technologies to some countries. He noted that the Montreal Amendment had come into force on 10 November 1999 and warned that failure to ratify the amendments could delay the phase-out of MB and HCFCs. He stated that, for any great cause, the last segment is the most challenging, and that fatigue and complacency should not negate the work that has been achieved.

Vassily Tselikov, MOP-10/COP-4 President, stressed the importance of gathering accurate and extensive measurements of ozone levels on an ongoing basis to determine whether measures taken are having the desired effect. He supported cooperation between the Assessment Panels and other relevant bodies, such as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC).

Executive Secretary Sarma expressed regret at the death in May 1999 of Winfried Lang, who had presided over the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol. He said the international environmental community had lost an outstanding figure. Participants observed a moment of silence in his memory .

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of officers: Delegates elected by acclamation Fabio Fajardo-Moros (Cuba) as President of COP-5 and Roberto Stadthagen Vogl (Nicaragua) as President of MOP-11. Delegates also elected as COP-5 Vice Presidents: Toure Idiatou Camara (Guinea), Choi Jai-Chul (Republic of Korea), and Blaise Horisberger (Switzerland). Marija Teriosina (Lithuania) was elected COP-5 Rapporteur. MOP-11 Vice Presidents elected were: Martin Joseph Kabore (Burkina Faso), Wang Zhi Jia (China), and Blaise Horisberger (Switzerland). Janusz Kozakiewcz (Poland) was elected MOP-11 Rapporteur.

Adoption of the High-level Segment agenda: CHINA requested that its proposal for a Beijing Declaration be added to the agenda. The agenda was adopted, with the proposed amendment.

PRESENTATIONS BY THE ASSESSMENT PANELS, UN AGENCIES AND THE GEF: Kerstin Leitner, Resident Representative of UNDP in China, highlighted UNDPs activities as an implementing agency of the Multilateral Fund. She expressed concern over the decline of programmes in low-volume ODS consuming countries and said replenishment of the Fund should allow for support to countries wishing to move faster than the 2005 target.

Rajendra M. Shende, Chief of UNEPs Energy and OzonAction Unit, detailed UNEPs work in assisting some 80 countries to develop national implementation plans and in networking and training more than 100 countries through its OzonAction Programme. He supported increasing non-investment projects in more countries.

Seniz Yalcindag, Director of UNIDOs Montreal Protocol Branch, said her organization was assisting 59 countries to phase-out ODS, primarily through capacity building and demonstration projects. She noted that UNIDOs activities included training skills in cleaner production, retrofitting equipment and introducing hydrocarbons as an alternative to ODS.

Steve Gorman, Unit Chief, Montreal Protocol Operations, World Bank, highlighted the Bank's ozone-related projects, including a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) commercial refrigeration project in Thailand and a national CFC phase-out activity in Malaysia.

Frank Rittner, Environmental Specialist for the GEF, highlighted the GEFs technical investments in countries with economies in transition, noting their innovative approach to ODS phase-out using economic instruments and tax incentives. He underscored the GEF's role in both the Montreal Protocol and the FCCC, but noted that the GEF is not the financial mechanism for the Protocol.

Gerard Magie, Co-Chair of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) presented the findings of the 1998 scientific assessment. He noted, inter alia, that total abundance of ODS is now slowly decreasing, but that recovery from ozone loss will be slow. He also highlighted linkages between ozone depletion and climate change. Pieter Aucamp, Co-Chair of the SAP, presented the IPCC special report on aviation and the global atmosphere noting, inter alia, that reducing the impact of aircraft on ozone depletion would require improved efficiency and management strategies, and that the development of supersonic aircraft would have an adverse effect on the ozone layer.

Suely Carvalho, Co-Chair of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), supported significant technology transfer efforts to disseminate non-ODS alternatives as widely as possible, and opposed new metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) using CFCs. She noted challenges for the future, including the need to promote substitutes for MB.

Jan C. van der Luen, Co-Chair of the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, discussed the 1998 Assessment Report and the 1999 Interim Summary Report on the environmental effects of ozone depletion. He indicated that the Protocol and its amendments had significantly decreased the projected levels of skin cancers and eye cataracts, while noting that, even with these interventions, increases in the rates of these conditions could be expected over the next few decades.

Paul Horwitz, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, outlined key experiences during the 1997-99 replenishment period. He highlighted the outstanding commitment of Article 5 Parties to reducing ODS, and of non-Article 5 Parties for providing over US$1 billion for the Multilateral Fund.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS AND HEADS OF DELEGATIONS: Many Parties expressed support for the proposed Beijing Declaration, while a number of Parties also noted the importance of an adequate replenishment of the Multilateral Fund. CHINA stated that, with support from the Multilateral Fund, it had frozen the production and consumption of CFCs and approved an updated country programme. He noted the challenges that Article 5 countries will face in meeting their next phase of commitments, and called for consideration of the possible negative social and economic impacts of the proposed adjustments and amendment. CHILE said ozone layer depletion is of paramount importance to his country, as Chile would be one of the countries most affected. He said Chile now faces the challenge of phasing-out ODS from SMEs.

JAPAN highlighted the need for efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the use of funds from the Multilateral Fund. Regarding proposals for new commitments, he noted the need to assess the economic and technical feasibility of alternatives. INDIA outlined domestic policy measures to introduce ODS alternatives. FINLAND, on behalf of the EU, stated that concessional lending should be an important element of the Multilateral Fund replenishment. Concerning new commitments, he said production of HCFCs, trade in HCFCs with non-Parties and quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) use of MB should be controlled. He called for the adoption of a Beijing Amendment. 

JORDAN said his country is relying on the Multilateral Fund to phase out ODS by 2008. PORTUGAL underscored the importance of HCFC and MB QPS controls and said Article 5 countries should not replace CFCs with HCFCs where other options are available. IRAN remarked that harmonizing the Montreal Protocol with the Kyoto Protocol represents a major challenge.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION noted that, despite enormous economic difficulties, his country had adhered to the Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention. He noted that the GEF was assisting his country to meet year 2000 phase-out commitments. ROMANIA said his country was striving to accede to EU standards and would soon ratify the Copenhagen Amendment. BRAZIL highlighted progress in implementing the Montreal Protocol, including termination of CFC production and elimination of ODS use in air conditioners, solvents and aerosols. He identified the next challenge as phasing-out ODS in SMEs in the foam and refrigeration sectors.

GERMANY identified areas requiring increased efforts, including: enforcement of regulations to stop illegal trade in ODS; phase-out of HCFCs; support for Article 5 countries through the Multilateral Fund; and development of alternatives to CFC MDIs. He said projects subsidized by the Multilateral Fund should protect both the ozone layer and the climate. SWITZERLAND underscored the importance of limiting CFC production for basic domestic needs in developing countries and controlling QPS uses of MB. With regard to Multilateral Fund replenishment, he supported a concessional loans system. BANGLADESH highlighted national efforts to phase-out ODS and opposed the concept of concessional lending.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

EU PROPOSAL: The working group on the proposed EU adjustments and amendment met in closed session. Progress was made on reporting of MB QPS use and the listing of bromochloromethane as a controlled ODS. The group reconvened in the evening to continue their consideration of HCFC controls.

REPLENISHMENT: The working group on the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund also met in closed session, but adjourned early to allow Parties time to consult internally. Debate continued over whether concessional lending should be included. Donor countries offered a significantly lower figure if concessional lending is excluded.

BEIJING DECLARATION: Informal consultations on the Beijing Declaration continued throughout the day. Some progress was made, but negotiations are being linked to the outcome of the other working groups.

IN THE CORRIDORS

The meeting is now teetering on the edge of a conclusion on all issues, depending on matters of substance. According to a number of delegates, the process hinges on whether HCFC controls are included as part of the EU's amendment proposal. Some maintain that, if HCFCs are excluded, there would be insufficient substance to warrant an amendment package. Without an amendment, some delegates contend that there would be insufficient substance for a Beijing Declaration. Others claim that a simple signal of progress would be substantive enough to justify a Beijing Declaration.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 10:00 am to hear the report of the Co-Chairs of the Preparatory Segment of MOP-11/COP-5, consider the recommendations for decisions forwarded from the Preparatory Segment, and hear statements by heads of delegations. Plenary will resume at 3:00 pm to address outstanding agenda items and adopt the decisions and draft report of MOP-11/COP-5.

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