Highlights and images for 24 May 2021

With the clock ticking on time allocated for delegates to the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to the Montreal Protocol to agree on the scope and content of guidance to the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) for further work on its replenishment report, parties worked through the text proposed by Canada on Saturday. This text sought to ensure that the TEAP replenishment task force would update its May 2020 report, taking into account:

  1. The corrections and clarifications identified in the TEAP replenishment task force responses document;
  2. Decisions, rules, and guidelines agreed by the Executive Committee through its 87th meeting (scheduled for June 2021); and
  3. Any relevant data on HFC consumption and production submitted by Article 5 parties under Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol and Country Programmes submitted under the Multilateral Fund.

The proposed text also suggested that the TEAP consider providing alternative scenarios and additional analysis in a supplementary report, taking into account comments by parties and any other new relevant information.

While there was strong support for using this text as starting point for their discussions, delegates found it difficult to agree on the requests being made to the TEAP. Ultimately, parties could agree only on the first two elements that would update the report, and could not agree on the scope or content of work for a supplementary report, despite efforts from several parties to provide compromise text that could satisfy all delegates. Several delegates who were unable to accept the text related to a supplementary report were concerned that, due to the disruption to the normal meeting process and lack of time for discussion of parties’ comments, the OEWG could not provide meaningful and specific guidance to the replenishment task force.

Several delegates also raised concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly highlighting the ways in which this global disruption to business as usual could skew the data used for benchmarking in cost estimates. Some parties suggested asking the TEAP to explore how the pandemic has affected the work of the Protocol. But there was general agreement to defer this work, given uncertainty about when the pandemic will end.

As the session ran late, forcing delegates to work without interpretation, Co-Chair Sirois indicated that all efforts to achieve consensus on provision of a supplementary report were exhausted. Delegates agreed to ask the TEAP to update its original report with the corrections and clarifications identified by parties last summer, as well as the decisions, rules and guidelines agreed by the Executive Committee up to and including its 87th meeting. With profuse thanks to all participants for working in a spirit of compromise, Co-Chair Sirois suspended OEWG-43 until July 2021.

OEWG-43 Co-Chair Martin Sirois, Canada

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of ExMOP-4 and the first part of OEWG-43 will be available on this site on Thursday, 27 May 2021.

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