Delegates hit the ground running on Monday. Participants exchanged views on many substantive issues, building on the work they carried out at the July meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG 44).
Parties opened and swiftly concluded discussion of future availability of halons and their alternatives. Several of the other items considered related to work by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and its Technical Options Committees (TOCs). This included an in-depth discussion of recommendations by the Methyl Bromide TOC (MBTOC) regarding nominations from three parties, South Africa, Canada, and Australia, for critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide for 2023 and 2024. The issue will be the focus of continued discussions in plenary later in the week.
On its first day, MOP 34 established six contact groups, including on:
- energy efficiency;
- identification of gaps in global atmospheric monitoring and emissions of carbon tetrachloride;
- strengthening Montreal Protocol institutions;
- the terms of reference for a study on replenishment of the Multilateral Fund;
- methyl bromide stocks and quarantine and pre-shipment uses; and
- strengthening the TEAP and TOCs for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
During the lunch break, delegates gathered for the launch of a new book celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. Protecting the Ozone Layer was written by Montreal Protocol veterans Stephen O. Andersen, former Co-Chair of the TEAP, and Marco Gonzalez, former Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, and edited by former TEAP member and Foam Technical Options Committee Co-Chair Sally Rand. It tells the story of the “inspired treaty design” underpinning the Montreal Protocol’s successes and aims to inspire “new ambition” to protect both the ozone layer and the climate.
By the time MOP 34 suspended its work in plenary on Monday evening, the Co-Chairs noted happily that the meeting was running ahead of schedule. The contact group on energy efficiency met in the evening, and the contact group on institutional processes was scheduled to meet on Tuesday morning before the start of plenary.