Shaking hands

44th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG-44) and 5th Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP-5)

11–16 July 2022 | Bangkok, Thailand

Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

About

The first in-person meeting in over two years replenished the Multilateral Fund and addressed questions of gaps in global monitoring of ozone depleting substances, specific usage and production of methyl bromide and carbon tetrachloride, and energy efficiency and phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons that contribute to climate change.

Final report

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The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is widely reported to be the most successful environmental treaty. This global agreement has protected the Earth’s ozone layer by phasing out the chemicals that deplete it since its entry into force in 1989. However, without effective implementation and monitoring—and the necessary funding—ozone depletion could continue unabated, with serious impacts on human health and the environment.  

After two years of unprecedented travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parties finally convened in person to address complex implementation and funding issues that are necessary to keep the Protocol on track. The last two meetings of the Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG) and the previous Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol took place online, and discussions on the more complex issues were postponed until face-to-face meetings could convene. As such, parties faced a heavy agenda.

Among the top agenda items was replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the 2021-23 triennium, following interim arrangements that enabled work to continue during the pandemic. An extraordinary Meeting of Parties (ExMOP-5) convened immediately following OEWG-44, to adopt a final decision on MLF replenishment.

Parties also took up the issue of gaps in global monitoring of emissions at this Bangkok meeting. This issue first came to prominence in 2018 following detection of unexpectedly high trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) emissions, used as a coolant and solvent. As large regions of the globe do not have monitoring infrastructure, parties considered a progress report by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and the Ozone Research Managers on this topic.

Parties also discussed a TEAP report on energy-efficient technology that has low global warming potential, following the Kigali Amendment’s entry into force on 1 January 2019. The Kigali Amendment addresses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), initially adopted as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, but later found to be powerful greenhouse gases. Parties considered information from the TEAP about the energy-efficiency potential of HFC phasedown, including potential cost savings that could be achieved in sectors such as heat pump and commercial refrigeration technologies. Parties also considered a stand-alone proposal on strengthening the TEAP and the technical options committees for the phasedown of HFCs and other climate-related challenges.

Other critical issues on the agenda included: measures to stop the environmentally harmful dumping of refrigerant and air-conditioning appliances using obsolete refrigerants; critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide, applied for fumigation purposes in agriculture and shipping; and the future availability of halons and their alternatives, used as fire extinguishing agents.

OEWG-44 and ExMOP-5 convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 11-16 July 2022.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the Montreal Protocol OEWG, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Ash Appleton.

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