Daily report for 15 December 2005

Vienna Convention COP 7 and Montreal Protocol MOP 17

COP-7/MOP-17's high-level segment began Thursday morning with opening statements, election of officers, adoption of the agenda and organization of work, and presentations by assessment panels and other organizations. In the afternoon, the high-level segment heard statements from senior officials and heads of delegation. The preparatory segment reconvened in the afternoon to continue its work on outstanding issues, including methyl bromide, essential-use nominations and illegal trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS). Various contact groups and informal consultations convened throughout the day.


OPENING OF HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: Macky Sall, Senegal's Prime Minister, welcomed participants to the high-level segment. The Mayor of Dakar, Pape Diop, underscored that social and economic development must be coupled with environmental protection, and highlighted Senegal's efforts to achieve this goal.

Outlining achievements under the ozone treaties, Marco González, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, emphasized much remains to be done, particularly in developing countries, and noted the relevance of Multilateral Fund replenishment to support this.

Bakary Kante, UNEP, noted the efforts of Senegal and other African countries in combating ODS, emphasizing the burden of global environmental threats on countries with fragile economies. He commended those involved in the IPCC/TEAP Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System.

Claudia McMurray, President of the Bureau of the Vienna Convention, said the achievements of the Convention and Protocol have largely resulted from strong scientific consensus. Prime Minister Sall commended the spirit of solidarity that has led to the ozone regime's success, and highlighted the fund on technical assistance and research, and Multilateral Fund replenishment as key financing priorities at COP-7/MOP-17.

Michael Williams, UNEP, presented awards to individuals who have contributed to ozone layer protection: Ayité-Lô Ajavon (Togo); Pieter Aucamp (South Africa); Xiaoyan Tang (China); Jan van der Leun (Netherlands); Daniel Albritton (US); James Anderson (US); Paul Crutzen (Netherlands); Mario Molina (Mexico); F. Sherwood Rowland (US); Joseph Farman (UK); Susan Solomon (US); Manfred Tevini (Germany); Mostafa Tolba (Egypt); Robert Watson (US); and Rumen Bojkov (Bulgaria), as well as two additional awards for former UNEP staff members, Omar El-Arini and Madhava Sarma.

Madhava Sarma, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat from 1991-2000, stressed current challenges to ozone layer protection, including: maintaining the international community's interest until full phase-out; increasing use of exemptions by developed countries, which may involve a significant amount of ODS and may discourage Article 5 parties in their efforts to implement ODS control measures; preventing illegal trade in ODS; increasing HCFC production in Article 5 countries; potential greenhouse gas emissions from ODS alternatives; and preserving the independence of the assessment panels.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Parties elected Bureau members for COP-7 and MOP-17.  For COP-7, Thierno Lo (Senegal) was elected President; Djismun Kasri (Indonesia), Nelson Espinosa (Cuba), and Vladimir Verveda (Turkmenistan) were elected Vice-Presidents; and Else Peuranen (Finland) was elected Rapporteur. For MOP-17, Tom Land (US) was elected President; Elena Dumitru (Romania), Jafrul Chowdhury (Bangladesh) and Victor Yamego (Burkina Faso) were elected Vice-Presidents; and Fergusson John (St. Lucia) was elected Rapporteur.

PRESENTATIONS BY ASSESSMENT PANELS: Parties heard presentations from representatives of the Protocol's assessment panels. Ayité-Lô Ajavon (Togo), Scientific Assessment Panel Co-Chair, presented the 2006 Scientific Assessment, outlining the contents of the first draft.

Jan van der Leun, Environmental Effects Assessment Panel Co-Chair, presented the Panel's 2005 progress report on the environmental effects of ozone depletion and its interaction with climate change. He said while ozone recovery is noticeable in the mid-latitudes, recovery in the polar regions will take considerably more time.

José Pons, TEAP Co-Chair, presented a summary of its 2005 work and plans for 2006, noting the work of the Technical Options Committees and task forces.

PRESENTATIONS BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES: Report of the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee: Paul Krajnik, Chair of the Multilateral Fund's Executive Committee, presented the Committee's report for 2005 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/9).

COUNTRY STATEMENTS: INDIA stressed the need to assist small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in compliance, and proposed opening a special funding window for SMEs in all sectors in the next triennium. CHINA stressed major obstacles to achieving final goals, including: illegal trade; technical problems in phasing out methyl bromide; funding HCFC phase-out; and Multilateral Fund replenishment. REPUBLIC OF CONGO stressed the need for appropriate technical and financial assistance and for agreement on Multilateral Fund replenishment. GUATEMALA summarized its agricultural development and resulting dependency on products like methyl bromide, and noted its work on reducing ODS by improving agricultural practices. GUINEA BISSAU said it has undertaken a number of legal and regulatory activities with the assistance of the Multilateral Fund. BANGLADESH said the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors face the biggest challenges in phasing out the use of ODS, and that it may require further technical assistance for this. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC highlighted its achievements and plans to eliminate CFCs. JAPAN stressed the international community should cooperate to implement the Protocol, and noted that it intends to promote expertise and technology transfer to shift to alternatives. MALAYSIA noted its reduction in per capita consumption of CFCs since 1989, and expressed concern with illegal trade in ODS.

NAMIBIA noted it has drastically reduced ODS consumption, and expressed its gratitude to donor countries and the Multilateral Fund Secretariat for mobilizing resources to finance implementation activities. BOLIVIA highlighted the importance of ODS elimination by non-Article 5 parties by 2010.

Underscoring that it adopted legislation to ban methyl bromide use from 2007 onwards, BRAZIL urged parties to reduce methyl bromide consumption. ANGOLA noted its capacity building activities to reduce ODS. INDONESIA and THAILAND highlighted the importance of reducing illegal trade in ODS. UGANDA outlined domestic actions to implement the Protocol, and underscored the need for parties to address transparency in handling critical-use nominations (CUNs) and connections between Protocol and World Trade Organization activities.


Co-Chair Tom Land (US) reconvened the preparatory segment on Thursday afternoon to address outstanding draft decisions.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OZONE RESEARCH MANAGERS REPORT: On this draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Conv.17/CRP.14), the US noted revisions arising from informal discussions, including a reference to "striving for regional balance" with regard to funding of projects by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the addition of "especially similar funds within the WMO" with regard to efforts to leverage additional sources of funding. Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment.

PROCESS AGENTS: The EC introduced its revised draft decisions on process agents (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.4/Rev.1, CRP.5/Rev.1 and CRP.6/Rev.1). INDIA expressed concern with one of the process agents in the interim list (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.6/Rev.1), and proposed deferring the decision to allow TEAP to consult with governments. After informal consultations between China, India, the US and the EC, the EC reported to plenary on several amendments, including the deletion of the previously discussed process agent from the list of interim applications (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.6/Rev.1), and the removal of the word "provisionally" from a reference to process agent applications to be considered process agent uses in accordance with Decision X/14 to be confirmed at MOP-19 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.4/Rev.1). Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment.

ILLEGAL TRADE IN ODS: The EC introduced this revised draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.7/Rev.2), noting the only outstanding issue was the cost of the study. Jean-Louis Wallace (Canada), Chair of the budget contact group, said the group recommended financing the study's cost from the Convention trust fund. Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment with the study's cost in brackets.

DESTRUCTION OF ODS: AUSTRIA introduced its draft decision, co-sponsored by JAPAN, that requests assistance to TEAP for a meeting on ODS destruction in early 2006 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.19), noting it emerged from discussions at the 47th meeting of the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee. Highlighting potential overlap with the proposal of the Latin America and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) on ODS destruction (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.13), the EC suggested GRULAC withdraw its proposal and work with Austria and Japan to integrate its concerns into the terms of reference of the experts' meeting. JAPAN, COLOMBIA and CUBA said the proposals were not contradictory. Co-Chair Land noted that GRULAC's draft decision had been forwarded to the high-level segment, and parties agreed to also forward Austria and Japan's draft decision to the high-level segment.

LABORATORY AND ANALYTICAL USES OF CARBON TETRACHLORIDE (CTC): Chile, for GRULAC, introduced its revised draft decision on CTC (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.16/Rev.1), noting consensus was reached in a contact group on Wednesday, and that the draft decision reflects a concern that the current baseline reduction for Article 5 countries could threaten laboratory and analytical applications. Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the high-level segment.

MEMBERSHIP OF PROTOCOL BODIES FOR 2006: Membership of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund: Co-Chair Land noted additional proposed members for the Executive Committee, being Guinea, Zambia, Burundi, Belgium, and Australia as Vice-Chairs. He requested the Secretariat prepare a draft decision to forward to the high-level segment.


BUDGETARY ISSUES: After discussing Protocol budget scenarios prepared by the Secretariat, delegates agreed on: keeping the amount originally proposed for funding travel for Article 5 delegates to ozone-related meetings; having an operating cash reserve of 8.3% of the 2006 budget; suggesting an operating cash reserve of 15% of the 2007 budget; drawing down from the trust fund by US$586,000; and allocating US$34,000 to the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) for 2006. On the Convention's budget, delegates agreed on US$90,000 for an IPCC/TEAP workshop, and US$200,000 for an ODS tracking system study.

REPLENISHMENT OF THE MULTILATERAL FUND: Non-Article 5 countries circulated a proposal, with their suggested level of non-investment funding increased by 30%. Discussions then focused on the total amount of funding for the replenishment, with Article 5 countries indicating flexibility in their proposal for the total amount. After informal consultations, both groups presented counteroffers, but the positions on the total amount differed by over US$100 million. The group will reconvene on Friday.

METHYL BROMIDE: The methyl bromide contact group met in the afternoon to report on the conclusion of bilateral discussions among non-Article 5 participants. The group agreed to add language to its proposal (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.20) on using stocks to supply any critical-use exemptions (CUEs) over permitted levels and on requesting MBTOC to review the use of pre-plant methyl bromide under the quarantine and pre-shipment exemption. The revised draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.17/CRP.20/Rev.1), along with the appendices as amended to remove US supplemental quantities for 2006 CUEs, was forwarded to the high-level segment.


With the issues of methyl bromide, essential uses and process agents seemingly resolved, delegates toasted their successes as they danced to the sounds of Youssou N'Dour Thursday evening at a Senegalese government reception. Though some delegates were optimistic that Friday's session would finish on time, others predicted that remaining issues threatened to keep participants from enjoying Senegal on Friday evening. One delegate predicted a showdown over the issue of ODS destruction, saying that if this issue is not resolved, consensus on other issues, such as CUNs, could break down as well. Another warned that parties seemed to be "digging in" and solidifying their positions on Multilateral Fund replenishment, and suggested both Article 5 and non-Article 5 countries need to show more flexibility if the issue is to be resolved on Friday.

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of COP-7/MOP-17 will be available on Monday, 19 December 2005, online at: http://enb.iisd.org/ozone/mop17/

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