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Vienna Convention COP 6 and Montreal Protocol MOP 14

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (MOP-14/COP-6) begin today and will continue until 29 November, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. A preparatory segment will be held 25-27 November, followed by a high-level segment for ministers and other heads of delegations from 28-29 November. Delegates to MOP-14/COP-6 will decide on the level of replenishment for the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, which assists developing countries in meeting their treaty commitments, for the triennium 2003-2005. They are also expected to adopt decisions on, inter alia: compliance issues considered by the Implementation Committee; illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS); the relationship between efforts to combat ozone depletion and climate change; and production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for metered-dose inhalers (MDIs).

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OZONE REGIME

Concerns that the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from CFCs and other anthropogenic substances were first raised during the early to mid-1970s. At that time, scientists warned that the release of these substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, thus hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations, as well as harm humans through higher rates of skin cancer, cataracts and weakened immune systems. In response to this growing concern, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened a conference in March 1977 that adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to guide future international action.

VIENNA CONVENTION: In May 1981, the UNEP Governing Council launched negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer and, in March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. The Convention called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange, but did not impose obligations to reduce the use of ODS. To date, the Convention has 185 Parties.

MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Efforts to negotiate binding obligations on ODS continued, leading to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in September 1987. The Montreal 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 use of these ODS before taking on commitments. To date, the Protocol has 184 Parties.

Since 1987, several amendments and adjustments to the Protocol have been agreed, with amendments adding new obligations and additional ODS, and adjustments tightening existing control schedules. Amendments require ratification by a defined number of Parties before they enter into force, while adjustments enter into force automatically.

LONDON AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: Delegates to MOP-2, which took place in London in 1990, tightened control schedules and agreed to add ten more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform. To date, 164 Parties have ratified the London Amendment.

In addition, MOP-2 established the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The Fund meets the incremental costs of developing country implementation of the Protocol's control measures and finances clearing-house functions, including technical assistance, information, training and costs of the Fund Secretariat. The Fund is replenished every three years, and has disbursed over US$1.3 billion since its establishment.

COPENHAGEN AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-4, held in Copenhagen in 1992, delegates tightened existing control schedules and added controls on methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) and consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). MOP-4 also agreed to enact non-compliance procedures, including the establishment of an Implementation Committee. The Implementation Committee examines cases of possible non-compliance by Parties and the circumstances surrounding these, and makes recommendations to the MOP aimed at bringing about full compliance. To date, 142 Parties have ratified the Copenhagen Amendment.

MONTREAL AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-9, held in Montreal in 1997, in addition to further tightening the existing control schedules, delegates agreed to a new licensing system for the import and export of ODS. They also agreed to a ban on trade in methyl bromide with non-Parties to the Copenhagen Amendment. To date, 86 Parties have ratified the Montreal Amendment.

BEIJING AMENDMENT AND ADJUSTMENTS: At MOP-11, held in Beijing in 1999 together with COP-5 to the Vienna Convention, delegates agreed to controls on HCFC production and bromochloromethane (BCM), and to reporting on methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications. To date, 41 Parties have ratified the Beijing Amendment. In addition, MOP-11 agreed to replenish the Multilateral Fund with US$477.7 million for the triennium 2000-2002.

MOP-12: MOP-12 took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 11-14 December 2000. MOP-12 adopted decisions on: a correction to the Beijing Adjustments; measures to facilitate the transition from CFC-based MDIs; monitoring of international trade and prevention of illegal trade in ODS; and other issues. MOP-12 also adopted the Ouagadougou Declaration, which encourages Parties to, inter alia: take steps to prevent illegal production, consumption and trade in ODS and ODS-containing equipment and products; and harmonize customs codes.

MOP-13: MOP-13 took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 16-19 October 2001. MOP-13 adopted decisions on: the terms of reference for a study by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) on the 2003-2005 replenishment of the Multilateral Fund; a review of the Multilateral Fund's fixed-exchange-rate mechanism; Parties' compliance; procedures for assessing the ozone-depleting potential (ODP) of new substances; CFC production for MDIs; monitoring of international trade and prevention of illegal trade in ODS; the budget of the Trust Fund; and other issues. MOP-13 also adopted the Colombo Declaration, which encourages Parties to, inter alia: apply due care in using substances that may have ODP; and determine and use available, accessible and affordable alternatives and technologies that minimize environmental harm while protecting the ozone layer.

CURRENT ODS CONTROL SCHEDULES: Regarding the ODS control schedules resulting from the various amendments/ adjustments to the Montreal Protocol developed countries were required to phase out: halons by 1994; CFCs, CTC, methyl chloroform and HBFCs by 1996; and BCM by 2002. They must still phase out: methyl bromide by 2005 and consumption of HCFCs by 2030 (with interim targets up to those dates). Production of HCFCs must be stabilized by 2004.

Developing countries were required to phase out HBFCs by 1996 and BCM by 2002. They must still phase out: CFCs, halons and CTC by 2010; methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by 2015; and consumption of HCFCs by 2040 (with interim targets up to those dates). Production of HCFCs must be stabilized by 2016.

INTERSESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

22ND OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: The 22nd Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG) met from 23-25 July 2002, in Montreal. Delegates considered the TEAP study on funding requirements for the 2003-2005 Multilateral Fund replenishment. They also discussed a report on the implementation of a fixed-exchange-rate mechanism for the Multilateral Fund, along with several draft decisions that will be considered further at MOP-14, including on illegal trade in ODS, on the use of ODS as process agents and on possible modifications to the non-compliance procedure. The Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) on the Multilateral Fund replenishment, composed of eight Article 5 and eight non-Article 5 Parties, met with TEAP and Multilateral Fund representatives after the close of OEWG-22 to continue discussion on the replenishment. The TEAP has prepared a supplementary report for MOP-14, including updates and further sensitivity analyses recommended by the AHWG.

38TH MEETING OF THE MULTILATERAL FUND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The 38th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund took place in Rome from 20-22 November 2002, preceded by meetings of the Sub-Committees on Project Review and on Monitoring, Evaluation and Finance held from 18-19 November. The Executive Committee agreed on, inter alia: funding of US$65 million for the full phase out of CTC in China; guidelines for considering projects that use technology not in the public domain; and a model three-year phase-out plan for use by the Fund's Implementing Agencies.

29TH MEETING OF THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE: The 29th meeting of the Implementation Committee took place in Rome from 23-24 November 2002. The Implementation Committee considered a larger number of cases than ever before, due to the coming into effect of developing country ODS control schedules in 1999/2000.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

OPENING PLENARY: MOP-14 will open at 10:00 am in the Plenary Hall, 3rd Floor, Building A. The Director General of the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territory, Corrado Clini, and Ozone Secretariat Executive Secretary, Marco Gonzáles, will deliver opening remarks. After adopting the agenda, delegates will consider issues relating to the Vienna Convention, followed by issues relating to the Montreal Protocol, including the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund and the implementation of the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism.

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