12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Part I) and 32nd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
23-27 November 2020 | Online
Summary Highlights of the Meeting
Highlights for Friday, 27 November 2020
Inger Andersen, in her opening address to the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) high-level segment (HLS), lauded delegates for making progress despite the challenges of 2020. She also reflected on the key role science has played in the shaping of the 25-year history of the Vienna Convention and of its Montreal Protocol.
The final day of COP 12(I)/MOP 32 saw delegates spent much of their time in the HLS hearing updates from the Assessment Panels, as well as the activities of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) and its implementing agencies.
The MLF Replenishment contact group had reconvened briefly in the morning to conclude its work on a decision for the interim budget for 2021-2023, before returning to plenary to forward the decision to the HLS. Ultimately, COP 12(I)/MOP 32 adopted a number of decisions, including those on:
- financial reports and budgets for the Vienna Convention;
- critical-use exemptions for 2021 and 2022;
- an interim budget for the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the triennium 2021-2023;
- the memberships of the various Protocol bodies;
- non-compliance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
- convening an extraordinary MOP in 2021; and
- the financial reports and budgets for the Protocol.
As MOP 32 President Paul Krajnik (Austria) noted in his closing remarks, “We have sent an important signal that despite the difficulties, the work of the Montreal Protocol is well on track.”
Over 300 delegates took part in COP 12(I)/MOP 32, which met online from 23-27 November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegates addressed a pared down agenda to address only those items that needed to urgently be addressed.
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Highlights for Thursday, 26 November 2020
On the penultimate day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32), delegates spent much of their time in contact groups and informal discussions as it tried it finalize the remaining agenda items in anticipation of the High-Level Segment on Friday.
The Replenishment Contact Group addressed two draft decisions: an interim budget to allow the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Secretariat to continue operating in 2021; and to allow the Secretariat to arrange an Extraordinary MOP (ExMOP) in 2021 to take a final budget decision should conditions allow. It finalized text on the decision to arrange an ExMOP, and the draft decision was forwarded to the High-Level Segment (HLS). More time will be required to finalize the outstanding decision on an interim budget.
The Budget Committee considered and finalized the budgets for the trust funds of both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol. The latter was contingent on the outcome of the Replenishment Contact Group discussions.
An informal group on the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) membership also met. Parties were tasked with finalizing nominations for positions becoming vacant, with some wondering how best to address this issue to account for the flexibility needed given the uncertainty currently being faced globally. Although discussions concluded, with parties agreeing to appoint co-chairs for a full term, and appoint senior experts for a one-year term, some parties asked for further time to reflect on the matter.
Plenary met briefly at the start and the end of the day’s session, during which delegates agreed to extend the period for parties to sign on the Rome Declaration on the Contribution of the Montreal Protocol to Food Loss Reduction through Sustainable Cold Chain Management adopted at MOP 31 in 2019. They also forwarded the draft decisions on the 2021 memberships of the Implementation Committee, the MLF’s Executive Committee, as well as the co-chairs of the Open-ended Working Group, to the HLS.
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Highlights for Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Delegates on the third day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) addressed critical-use nominations (CUNs) for methyl bromide, and heard the report of the Implementation Committee (ImpCom) from its sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth meetings. The Budget Committee and the contact group on the Multilateral Fund Replenishment (MLF) also met.
During its presentation, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) stated four CUNs had been received and reviewed: Australia and Canada for strawberry runners; Argentina for strawberry fruit and tomatoes; and South Africa for fumigating mills and houses. Two emergency use applications had also been received: Canada for strawberry nurseries, and Australia for rice. A draft decision containing the four nominations was forwarded for adoption at the High-Level Segment, which is scheduled for Friday, 27 November.
In its presentation to delegates, the ImpCom stated Kazakhstan, Libya and Ukraine are once again in compliance with their obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The ImpCom also considered a new case of noncompliance by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Debate largely centered on ensuring that UN Security Council resolutions regarding the DPRK are adhered to when receiving technical and financial assistance from Protocol implementing agencies. A draft decision including on the noncompliance of DPRK and the reporting of information on using controlled substances as process agents was forwarded to the High-Level Segment for adoption.
Following the plenary session, the MLF Replenishment contact group resumed its consideration of a draft decision to roll over the remaining funds balance from the current fiscal period (2018-2020) to the triennium 2021-2023 to allow the MLF Secretariat to continue operating. They continued their discussion on how to craft decision text reflecting parties’ desire to take a final MLF budget decision in 2021 while acknowledging that there is still uncertainty as to when in-person negotiations can be conducted. They also returned to discussions on ensuring that the funds balance rollover is intended as the interim budget solely for 2021.
Delegates were once again faced with overcoming the difficulties posed by virtual negotiations as issues that were previously able to be ironed out among parties on the sidelines now had to be addressed either in the larger contact group session or by other means such as email. One delegate lamented that this takes extra time, which is still a precious commodity, whether the negotiations are virtual or in-person.
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Highlights for Tuesday, 24 November 2020
The second day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) to the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) opened with parties considering the membership of Montreal Protocol bodies for 2021. These included the membership of the Implementation Committee and the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Executive Committee, as well as the co-chairs of the forty-third Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG 43). Parties also discussed the membership of the Technical and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and its Technical Options Committees. They did express some concern that confirming TEAP nominations for four years at a virtual meeting may be short-sighted as the expertise needed for the future could be overlooked.
Following the plenary session, the Budget Committee and the contact group on the MLF Replenishment met. The MLF Replenishment contact group considered proposals to roll over remaining funds from the current fiscal period (2018-2020). Parties debated how to ensure that the rollover of funds balance as the proposed interim budget is solely for 2021. They also deliberated on how best to reflect this while ensuring that any decision taken on an interim budget does not disrupt the donor processes for MLF contributions in the 2021-2023 triennium.
Many parties reflected on the difficulty of negotiating in a virtual setting, stating that it makes in-depth conversations on text proposals difficult. There was also a concern that discussions that were previously closed were suddenly accessible to all. As one delegate remarked, the goodwill in the Ozone family should ensure that parties could trust these conventions will not be breached.
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Highlights for Monday, 23 November 2020
The first day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) opened with delegates paying their respects to Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, who died in October this year. Molina’s research, conducted with Sherwood Rowland, was instrumental in showing that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could decompose the stratospheric ozone; this is the science that led to the formation of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
For the Montreal Protocol to continue achieving positive results, one of the issues COP 12(I)/MOP 32 has to grapple with is how to ensure the Multilateral Fund (MLF) can continue its work to support developing country (Article 5) parties in meeting their obligations under the Protocol. Parties spent much of their allotted time today discussing how best to ensure this could happen, given that no decision will be taken on the replenishment for the period 2021-2023 without in-person negotiations taking place.
Many parties supported the proposal to rollover unspent funds from the current fiscal period (the triennium 2018-2020) to allow the MLF Secretariat to continue their work in 2021. There was, however, a request for language explicitly calling for a replenishment decision to be taken in 2021. There was also a question on whether there were sufficient funds available to roll over to ensure that the MLF Secretariat could continue its operations. In the same vein, there was also a proposal for an Extraordinary MOP (ExMOP) to be held in 2021 to take a final decision on the MLF Replenishment 2021-2023.
A contact group was established to consider both these proposals in further detail.
Parties also briefly considered the financial reports and budgets of the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol trust funds. A budget committee was established to discuss these in further detail and will meet from Tuesday through Thursday outside of the core negotiating hours.COP 12(I)/MOP 32 is meeting online from 23-27 November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2:00 – 4:00 PM East Africa Time.
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COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Resources
- COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Website
- COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Documents
- COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Annotated Provisional Agenda
- COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Side Events
- Assessment Panel Reports
- COP 12(I)/MOP 32 Online Forum
- Contingency Meeting Plans for 2020-2021
- Ozone Secretariat Website
IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage
- 42nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (OEWG 42), 14-16 July 2020, Online
- MOP 31, 4-8 November 2019, Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Rome, Italy
- OEWG 41, 1-5 July 2019, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
- MOP 30, 5-9 November 2018, Quito, Ecuador
- OEWG 40, 11-14 July 2018, Vienna, Austria
- COP 11 and MOP 29, 20-24 November 2017, Montreal, Canada
- Workshop on Safety Standards Relevant to the Safe Use of Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) Alternatives to Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and OEWG 39, 10-14 July 2017, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand
- ENB coverage of Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol meetings
- Subscription Page for ENB Update, SDG Update, and Peer-to-Peer Community Mailing Lists (including Climate News, SDG News, Biodiversity News, Ocean News, Ocean News, Forests News, Trade and Sustainable Development News, and Regional Updates)
- SDG Update Newsletter - A compilation of news, commentary and upcoming events published on the SDG Knowledge Hub
- SDG Knowledge Hub - An Online Resource Center for News and Commentary Regarding the Implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)