Summary report, 22–27 October 2023
35th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP35)
In the collegial spirit that the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is known for, delegates at the thirty-fifth Meeting of the Parties (MOP 35) committed firmly to address threats to both the ozone layer and the global climate, designating a significant portion of funding to bring down global temperatures. In an historic decision, parties adopted the largest ever replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the implementation of the Protocol. The replenishment, just shy of USD 1 billion, will assist developing countries in implementing their obligations under the Protocol and its Kigali Amendment, with a strong focus on shifting away from harmful greenhouses gases and substances with high global warming potential (GWP).
Delegates worked intensely throughout the week on a very heavy agenda. While they made progress on almost every item before them, despite best efforts, they were unable to agree on a decision to address quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) uses of methyl bromide for which alternatives exist. They also agreed to defer discussion on a potential roadmap to end illegal trade in controlled substances to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG).
Since 2023 is a replenishment year, delegates engaged in focused discussions on the MLF replenishment in closed-door negotiations throughout the week. In the final hours of the meeting, the delicate compromise reached by the contact group on the replenishment was shaken slightly when some delegations questioned the binding nature of contributions to the MLF. But, in a spirit of compromise, parties were able to take the historic decision to support developing countries in their efforts to transition away from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Parties also adopted a host of decisions on substantive matters, including:
- stratospheric aerosol injection;
- addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on HFC baseline consumption for certain parties;
- energy efficiency;
- very short-lived substances;
- feedstock uses;
- potential areas of focus for the 2026 quadrennial reports of the Protocol’s Assessment Panels;
- the import and export of prohibited cooling equipment, to address the long-standing issue of dumping; and
- further strengthening Protocol institutions, including for combating illegal trade.
They also took decisions on the composition of the Protocol’s Assessment Panels, as well as electing new members to the governing bodies by acclamation, avoiding a vote.
MOP 35 convened from 23-27 October 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, with parties convening at the seat of the Secretariat for the first time in 20 years. Over 600 participants attended the meeting, which was preceded by a workshop on energy efficiency on 22 October 2023.
A Brief History of the Ozone Regime
Concerns that the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other anthropogenic substances first arose in the early 1970s. At that time, scientists warned that releasing these substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity, and animal populations, and harm humans through higher rates of skin cancers, cataracts, and weakened immune systems. In response, a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) conference held in March 1977 adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee to guide future international action.
Vienna Convention: Negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer were launched in 1981 under the auspices of UNEP. In March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. It calls for cooperation on monitoring, research, and data exchange, but does not impose obligations to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The Convention has 198 parties, which represents universal ratification.
Montreal Protocol: In September 1987, efforts to negotiate binding obligations to reduce ODS usage led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol, which entered into force in January 1989. The Montreal Protocol introduced control measures for some CFCs and halons for developed countries (non-Article 5 parties). Developing countries (Article 5 parties) were granted a grace period, allowing them to increase their ODS use before taking on commitments. The Protocol has been ratified by 198 parties.
Since 1987, several amendments and adjustments have been adopted, adding new obligations and additional ODS and adjusting existing control schedules. Amendments require ratification by a certain number of parties before they enter into force; adjustments enter into force automatically. All amendments except the newest, the Kigali Amendment, have been ratified by 197 parties.
Key Turning Points
London Amendment and Adjustments: At the second MOP, held in London, UK, in 1990, delegates tightened control schedules and added ten more CFCs to the list of ODS, as well as carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform. MOP 2 also established the MLF, which meets the incremental costs incurred by Article 5 Parties in implementing the Protocol’s control measures and finances clearinghouse functions. The Fund is replenished every three years.
Copenhagen Amendment and Adjustments: At MOP 4, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1992, delegates tightened existing control schedules and added controls on methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). MOP 4 also agreed to enact non-compliance procedures. It established an Implementation Committee (ImpCom) to examine possible non-compliance and make recommendations to the MOP aimed at securing full compliance.
Montreal Amendment and Adjustments: At MOP 9, held in Montreal, Canada, in 1997, delegates agreed to: a new licensing system for importing and exporting ODS, in addition to tightening existing control schedules; and banning trade in methyl bromide with non-Parties to the Copenhagen Amendment.
Beijing Amendment and Adjustments: At MOP 11, held in Beijing, China, in 1999, delegates agreed to controls on bromochloromethane, additional controls on HCFCs, and reporting on methyl bromide for QPS applications.
Kigali Amendment: At MOP 28, held in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016, delegates agreed to amend the Protocol to include HFCs as part of its ambit and to set phase-down schedules for HFCs. HFCs are produced as replacements for HCFCs and thus a result of ODS phase-out. HFCs are not a threat to the ozone layer but have a high GWP. To date, 155 parties to the Montreal Protocol have ratified the Kigali Amendment, which entered into force on 1 January 2019.
COP 12/MOP 32: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first part of the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (COP 12) and MOP 32 convened online from 23-27 November 2020. Delegates addressed only those issues deemed essential, including the replenishment of the MLF for 2021-2023. Parties authorized the Secretariat to arrange an extraordinary MOP in 2021 to take a decision on the final programme and budget for 2021-2023. MOP 32 also addressed: critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide for 2021-2022; compliance and data reporting issues; and membership of the Montreal Protocol bodies and Assessment Panels.
ExMOP 4 and OEWG 43: The Fourth Extraordinary MOP to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP 4) and OEWG 43, held on 21, 22 and 24 May 2021, convened online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ExMOP 4 agreed to facilitate payments to the MLF to ensure its continued functioning during 2021. Parties agreed that any contributions made in advance of the 2021-2023 replenishment decision should count toward future contributions and should not affect the overall level of the replenishment or the agreed level of contributions by parties. OEWG 43 discussed the scope and content of guidance to the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) Replenishment Task Force (RTF) on further work on its replenishment report. Parties agreed on an updated report, rather than a more comprehensive supplemental report.
COP 12/MOP 33: This combined meeting convened virtually from 23-29 October 2021, with a high-level segment (HLS) on the last day. The meeting took key decisions related to monitoring of controlled substances and energy efficiency, as delegates requested the Assessment Panels to work out what would be needed to increase the monitoring capacities in regions where capacity is limited or altogether absent.
Delegates also continued work on low-GWP and energy-efficient technologies. The meeting considered two draft decisions, which addressed: trading of soon-to-be obsolete technologies that could be a threat to the future implementation of the Kigali Amendment and broadening the list of sectors required to implement more energy-efficient technologies. The meeting also adopted 18 decisions on administrative and technical matters, including: replenishment of the MLF; financial reports and budgets of the trust funds for the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol; compliance and reporting; membership of Montreal Protocol bodies; and recommendations of the Ozone Research Managers of the Vienna Convention.
ExMOP 5 and OEWG 44: The Fifth Extraordinary MOP to the Montreal Protocol (ExMOP 5) and OEWG 44 convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 11-16 July 2022. ExMOP 5 adopted decisions on the replenishment of the MLF for the triennium 2021-2023 and extension of the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism to the 2021-2023 replenishment. OEWG 44 addressed issues including terms of reference for a study of MLF replenishment needs in the 2024-2026 triennium; energy efficiency; ongoing emissions of CTC; potential restructuring of the TEAP’s Technical Options Committees (TOCs); and a proposal from African states to address the dumping of inefficient refrigeration and air-conditioning appliances.
MOP 34: At this meeting, held in Montreal, Canada, from 31 October – 4 November 2022, delegates discussed and adopted a host of decisions related to, among others: illegal import of certain refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pump products and equipment; identification of gaps in the global coverage of atmospheric monitoring of controlled substances and options for enhancing such monitoring; collecting data to understand potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on HFC consumption in developing countries; strengthening institutional processes with respect to information on HFC-23 by-product emissions; and strengthening the Protocol’s institutions, including for combating illegal trade. At this meeting, delegates also adopted the terms of reference (TOR) for the study on the MLF replenishment for 2024-2026, opening the door for the TEAP to establish the RTF to prepare for the replenishment negotiations at MOP 35.
OEWG 45: At this meeting, which took place from 2-7 July 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, delegates delved into the quadrennial reports prepared by the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP), the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) and the TEAP. They also addressed issues including related to: illegal import/export of obsolete equipment; stratospheric aerosol injection; adjustments to the Protocol and its Kigali Amendment; emissions of HFC-23; and VSLS with ozone-depleting potential (ODP).
There was an extensive discussion on the report of the TEAP RTF on the replenishment of the MLF for the triennium 2024-2026. The report estimated the replenishment need at approximately USD 1 billion, which would be the highest level ever. Delegates requested the Task Force to prepare a supplementary report addressing a list of elements for additional analysis.
Workshop on Energy Efficiency
On Sunday, 22 October, delegates attended a pre-meeting workshop on energy efficiency. The workshop provided an opportunity to share information, experiences, and lessons learned and assess challenges to improving availability and accessibility of energy-efficient equipment and equipment using low- or zero-GWP alternatives towards the implementation of the Kigali Amendment. The workshop’s outcomes were relayed to MOP 35.
MOP 35 Report
On Monday, OEWG Co-Chair Vidémé Amèh Djossou (Togo), opened the meeting. Megumi Seki, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, highlighted that the work under the Protocol is evolving, and informed delegates that the Secretariat would host a pavilion at the upcoming 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as part of the host country United Arab Emirates’ Global Cooling Pledge initiative.
Seki highlighted the outstanding contributions to the Protocol of John Pyle and Paul Newman, who are retiring as Co-Chairs of the SAP. Joined by the UK and the US, Seki thanked them for their leadership and dedication. Newman and Pyle urged delegates to keep the Protocol’s beacon bright for others to see.
Adoption of the agenda: On Monday, OEWG Co-Chair Ralph Brieskorn (Netherlands) introduced the agenda for the preparatory segment (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/1 and Add/1). CHINA called to delete the US proposal on the reclassification of developing countries (agenda item 22), which proposed reclassifying China as a developed country party. She proposed deletion of the item in accordance with Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure.
The US justified their submission, noting that it was in accordance with Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure. He also noted prior MOP decisions where reclassification of countries has taken place, and emphasized that blocking this item on procedural grounds would set a bad precedent.
Co-Chair Brieskorn proposed, and delegates agreed, to keep this agenda item between brackets, with addition of a footnote that it is pending conclusion of informal consultations. He invited concerned parties to engage in the margins of the meeting.
Under “other matters,” MOZAMBIQUE requested a discussion on the length of MOP sessions due to the increased workload occasioned by the implementation of the Kigali Amendment.
Organization of work: Delegates approved the organization of work, as verbally outlined by Co-Chair Brieskorn.
Budget of the Trust Fund for the Montreal Protocol and financial reports: On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, 35/2/Add.1, 35/3, 35/4, 35/4/Corr.1, 35/5, 35/INF/1, 35/INF/2). He proposed, and parties agreed, to establish a budget committee, chaired by Sebastian Schnatz (Germany), to review the financial reports and prepare a draft decision. The Committee met for the rest of the week.
On Wednesday, Budget Committee Chair Schnatz noted the committee had considered two scenarios for the 2024 budget and would require more time to complete its work.
On Friday, Schnatz reported the committee’s agreement on the 2024 budget and 2025 indicative budget and presented the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.17). Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.17), MOP 35, among others:
- approves the budget of USD 5,852,835 for 2024 and takes note of the indicative budget for 2025;
- authorizes the Executive Secretary, on an exceptional basis, to draw down from the available cash balance for 2023 in an amount of up to USD 491,550 for specific activities as called for in this decision, which includes an indicative amount for a workshop in 2024, provided that the cash balance is not reduced below the working capital reserve;
- approves the contributions to be paid by the parties in the amount of USD 3,743,099 for 2024 and takes note of the contributions for 2025; and
- encourages parties and other stakeholders to contribute financially and by other means to assist the members of the three Assessment Panels and their subsidiary bodies to ensure their continued participation in assessment activities.
MOP 35 requests the Secretariat to, among others:
- enter into discussions with any party whose contributions have been outstanding for two or more years and report the outcomes to MOP 36;
- continue to provide regular information on earmarked contributions and to include that information, where relevant, in the budget proposals of the Trust Fund to enhance transparency;
- continue to prepare fact sheets for the presentation of future budgets; and
- prepare budgets and work programmes for 2025 and 2026, based on the projected needs, for two budget scenarios: a zero-nominal-growth scenario based on the 2024 approved budget and a scenario based on recommended adjustments to the zero-nominal-growth scenario.
Membership of Montreal Protocol bodies for 2024: On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this agenda item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, 35/3), urging regional consultations and submission of nominations for the ImpCom, the Executive Committee of the MLF (ExCom), and the Co-Chairs of the OEWG for 2024.
On Wednesday, the Secretariat reported that they had received nominations from Eastern European States, the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), and the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) for the ImpCom. She noted that she had received the nominations from GRULAC and three non-Article 5 parties for the ExCom, calling on all regions to submit their nominees. She noted regions were yet to submit nominations for the OEWG Co-Chairs for 2024.
For the MOP 35 Bureau presidency, she reported receiving nominations from Eastern European States as well as nominations for Bureau vice-presidents from WEOG and GRULAC, calling on other regions to submit their nominations. The AFRICAN GROUP said their nomination process was complete and they would submit their nominations.
On Friday, the Secretariat announced that all regions had submitted their nominations, and the HLS approved the list of members to the ImpCom and ExCom, as well as the OEWG Co-Chairs.
Final Decision: In its decision on the ImpCom membership, contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2, MOP 35:
- confirms the positions of Lebanon, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Senegal, and Suriname as members of the Committee for one further year and selects Chile, Czechia, Iran, Kenya, and the US as members of the Committee for a two-year period beginning on 1 January 2024; and
- notes the selection of Osvaldo-Patricio Alvarez-Perez (Chile) to serve as President and Martijn Hildebrand (Netherlands) to serve as Vice President and Rapporteur of the Committee for one year beginning 1 January 2024.
In its decision on the ExCom membership, contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2, MOP 35:
- endorses the selection of Argentina, Cuba, Ghana, India, Jordan, Kuwait, and Tunisia as ExCom members representing Article 5 parties and the selection of Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the US, as members representing non-Article 5 parties, for one year beginning 1 January 2024; and
- notes the selection of María Antonella Parodi (Argentina) to serve as Chair and Alessandro Giuliano Peru (Italy) to serve as Vice-Chair of the ExCom for one year beginning 1 January 2024.
In its decision on the OEWG Co-Chairs for 2024, contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2, MOP 35 endorses the selection of Miruza Mohamed (Maldives) and Ralph Brieskorn (Netherlands) as Co-Chairs of the OEWG.
Replenishment of the MLF for 2024-2026
Supplementary report of the TEAP replenishment task force (RTF): On Monday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, 35/2/Add.1, 35/3, WG.1/45/8). The RTF presented their supplementary report outlining ways in which they had addressed the 27 issues raised at OEWG 45 relating to MLF replenishment. In the discussion, parties considered, among others, that the RTF had not explored all issues regarding compliance and the cost-effective use of funds; and the need to ensure sufficient additional financial resources will be provided by non-Article 5 parties to offset costs arising out of HFC phase-down obligations by Article 5 parties. On the extension of the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism for the triennium 2024-26, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced the document (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/INF/6), and the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3).
Parties agreed to re-establish the OEWG 45 contact group on the MLF replenishment, co-chaired by Sergio Merino (Mexico) and Alain Wilmart (Belgium). This group met behind closed doors throughout the week.
On Wednesday, Contact Group Co-Chair Wilmart noted, after a first round of clarifications with responses from the TEAP, the group had agreed to limit the discussions to 12 Article 5 parties and 12 non-Article 5 parties only. He noted they would need more time to conclude their work.
On Friday, Contact Group Co-Chair Merino reported the group reached an agreement to adopt a budget for the MLF for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol for the triennium 2024-2026 of USD 965,000,000 and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.19. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested the deletion of a paragraph noting outstanding contributions from parties with economies in transition in the period 2021-2023, stating they, together with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, had informed delegates of their view that contributions to the MLF were voluntary. CANADA, the US, the EU, JAPAN and others noted their concern about deleting this paragraph. After concerned parties discussed the issue informally early on Saturday morning, Contact Group Co-Chair Wilmart reported that delegates had reached an agreement to delete the paragraph in question. On Saturday morning, OEWG Co-Chair Brieskorn proposed, and delegates agreed to forward this amended draft decision for the approval of the HLS, which adopted it without further amendment.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.19), MOP 35:
- adopts a budget for the MLF for the triennium 2024-2026 of USD 965,000,000, on the understanding that USD 428,699,680 of that budget will be provided from anticipated contributions due to the MLF and other sources for the triennium 2021-2023, and that USD 10,700,320 will be provided from interest accruing to the Fund during the triennium 2024-2026;
- adopts the scale of contributions for the MLF based on a replenishment of USD 175,200,000 for 2024, USD 175,200,000 for 2025, and USD 175,200,000 for 2026, as set out in an annex to the MOP 35 report; and
- decides the ExCom should take action to ensure that the entire budget for the triennium 2024-2026 is committed by the end of 2026 and that non-Article 5 parties should make timely payments in accordance with paragraph 7 of decision XI/6.
In its decision on the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.20), MOP 35:
- directs the Treasurer to extend the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism to the period 2024-2026;
- decides that parties choosing to pay their MLF contributions in national currencies will calculate their contributions based on the average UN exchange rate for the six-month period commencing 1 January 2023;
- decides that parties not choosing to pay in national currencies pursuant to the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism will continue to pay in US dollars;
- decides that no party should change the currency selected for its contribution in the course of the triennium 2024-2026;
- decides that only parties with inflation rate fluctuations of less than 10% for the preceding triennium, pursuant to published figures of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will be eligible to use the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism;
- urges parties to pay their MLF contributions in full and as early as possible; and
- agrees that if the fixed-exchange-rate mechanism is to be used for the replenishment period 2027-2029, parties choosing to pay their contributions in national currencies will calculate their contributions based on the average UN exchange rate for the six-month period commencing 1 January or 1 July ending at least three months prior to the replenishment that is to be decided.
2026 Quadrennial Reports, including Synchronization with Reports on HFC Alternatives
On Monday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced this item, drawing attention to the agreement to resume discussions of the contact group on the issue of synchronizing reports on HFC alternatives under decision XXVIII/2. Using the draft decision agreed by OEWG 45 as a basis for resumed contact group discussions (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3), delegates met in a contact group, co-chaired by Leslie Smith (Grenada) and Cindy Newberg (US).
In the contact group, delegates discussed, inter alia, a list of additional areas for inclusion in the TOR of the next quadrennial assessment, including: end-of-life refrigerant management; information on uses where HCFCs were not previously used but HFCs are, such as electronics manufacturing; impact of the phase-out of controlled ODS and phase-down of HFCs, energy efficiency, minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), cold chain management, and buildings; and use of raw materials as feedstocks and input materials. On Thursday, they considered remaining areas to be considered in the Panels’ TOR, including: end-of-life refrigerant management; assessment of whether production of hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) is resulting in fugitive high-GWP HFCs; alignment of the reports on HFC alternatives; and the potential impact of the management of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on the implementation of the Protocol and the selection of alternatives in relevant sectors.
On Friday, Co-Chair Newberg noted the group had reached agreement on the discussions and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.11. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.11), MOP 35 requests the assessment panels to prepare quadrennial assessment reports and submit them to the Secretariat by 31 December 2026 for consideration by the OEWG and MOP in 2027, as well as finalizing a synthesis report in time for the MOP.
MOP 35 requests that the 2026 EEAP report assess:
- the effects of changes in the ozone layer and UV radiation and their interaction with the climate system on human health; the biosphere, biodiversity, and the health of flora, fauna and the ecosystem, including biogeochemical processes and global cycles; and ecosystem services, agriculture, and materials, including for construction, transport, and photovoltaic use, and microplastics; and
- the effects and accumulation of breakdown products from controlled substances and their alternatives, in particular any substances that are very persistent in the environment, such as PFAS, including trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), in ground and surface waters and in other relevant sinks.
MOP 35 also requests that the 2026 SAP report include:
- assessment of the state of the ozone layer and its future evolution;
- evaluation of global and polar stratospheric ozone;
- an updated assessment of past and projected contributions of the Protocol to mitigating climate change in terms of total avoided CO2-equivalent emissions and avoided temperature increase;
- an evaluation of trends in the top-down derived emissions, abundances and fate in the atmosphere of trace gases of relevance to the Protocol;
- an evaluation of consistency with reported production and consumption of those substances and the likely implications for the state of the ozone layer, including its interaction with the climate system;
- an assessment of the interaction between changes in stratospheric ozone and the climate system;
- information regarding scenarios designed to contribute further to ozone layer protection and climate change mitigation;
- early identification and quantification of any substances that could be of concern to the ozone layer and relevant for the implementation of the Protocol and the objectives of the Vienna Convention;
- an assessment of information and research related to solar radiation modification, and relevant information on the potential effects of supersonic aircraft, rockets, satellites, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric ozone layer; and
- identification and quantification of any other issues relevant to the objectives of the Vienna Convention and the Protocol.
MOP 35 requests that the 2026 TEAP report include assessment and evaluation of the following topics:
- technical progress in the production and consumption sectors in the transition to alternatives of controlled substances in all sectors;
- process agents and feedstock uses for which the use of controlled substances is no longer required and identification of alternative pathways and technologies that can replace these uses;
- an assessment of information relating to emissions of controlled substances from feedstock and production processes and other manufacturing processes and identification of best practices and technologies for minimizing such emissions;
- status of banks and stocks of controlled substances, including rates of recovery, recycling, and reuse, their alternatives and other substances of importance to the ozone layer;
- challenges facing all parties to the Protocol in implementing obligations and maintaining the phase-outs already achieved;
- impact of the phase-out of controlled ODS and the phase‑down of HFCs and associated energy efficiency and MEPS and cold chain management on sustainable development;
- technical advances in developing alternatives to HFCs, taking into account energy efficiency, safety, and suitability for use in high-ambient-temperature countries;
- information on uses where HCFCs were not previously used and HFCs have been used and are currently used, such as electronics manufacturing;
- assessment of whether production of HFOs is resulting in fugitive emissions of HFCs;
- the potential impacts of evolving policies and regulations in relation to the management of controlled substances and their alternatives and breakdown products, in particular PFAS, on the implementation of the Protocol and the selection of alternatives in relevant sectors; and
- information on refrigerant management, with particular attention to leakage prevention and end-of-life management.
Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI) and Protection of the Ozone Layer
On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this item, drawing attention to OEWG 45 discussions based on the SAP 2022 assessment report, which notes how the use of SAI to reduce global warming would impact on stratospheric ozone. He further drew attention to Australia’s draft decision, co-sponsored by Canada, on the topic (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3). AUSTRALIA said the draft decision was directed at the global scientific community and the SAP to address the challenges of SAI.
Pointing to uncertainties presented at the OEWG, some delegations called on the SAP to provide quantitative information on this issue. Others urged restricting the discussions to the mandate of the Protocol. Delegates agreed to continue discussions in an informal group.
On Friday, Annie Gabriel (Australia) reported on agreement in informal consultations and presented UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.13. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.13), MOP 35:
- invites the global scientific community to take into account risks and uncertainties for the ozone layer in any scientific studies or assessments undertaken in relation to SAI; and
- requests the SAP to continue to bring to the attention of the parties, any important developments with respect to SAI, including the inclusion of updated or new scenarios or modeling to assist with understanding of the potential impacts of SAI on the ozone layer.
On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced the OEWG draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3). The EU clarified that their proposed conference room paper (CRP) was intended to assist parties improve implementation of the Kigali Amendment by identifying destruction technologies. The US, AUSTRALIA, and CANADA welcomed further discussions. GUINEA cautioned these discussions consider polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are not covered under the Protocol. Delegates agreed to continue discussions informally.
On Wednesday, the EU reported that, after consultations with GUINEA on the issue of destruction of pharmaceuticals, the draft decision XXXV/[C] was ready for submission. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it on Friday, as part of the compendium of decisions.
Final Decision: In its decision G (contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2), MOP 35:
- approves cement kiln as a destruction technology for the purposes of paragraph 5 of Article 1 of the Protocol, as an addition to the technologies listed in Annex VI to the MOP 4 report and modified by decisions V/26, VII/35, XIV/6, XXIX/4, and XXX/6, for diluted sources of ODS and Annex F, Group I substances for which there is already approval for concentrated sources;
- removes portable plasma arc technology as a separate approved technology for the purposes of paragraph 5 of Article 1 of the Protocol, given this technology is a subset of the already approved category of nitrogen plasma arc destruction technology; and
- invites parties to submit to the Secretariat information relevant for a review of destruction technologies.
Very Short-Lived Substances (VSLS), including Dichloromethane (DCM)
On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced the OEWG draft (contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3). Some parties recalled their concerns that these substances are not controlled under the Protocol and no ozone depleting data is available for VSLS, including DCM. One party said using the Protocol to “research everything” was unrealistic and unnecessary.
Others supported discussing this matter further, with the EU noting that while VSLS, including DCM, do have a very low ODP, their impact can be substantial in large quantities. Delegates agreed to continue discussions informally, co-facilitated by Liana Ghahramanyan (Armenia) and Jana Mašíčková (Czechia).
On Friday, Co-Facilitator Mašíčková noted the group had reached agreement on the discussions relating to VSLS and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.12. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.12), MOP 35 requests the TEAP to include in its 2024 progress report, for OEWG 46:
- updated information on VSLS, including their ODP and the impact in quantifiable terms of each on the stratospheric ozone layer; and
- information on alternatives in the main applications for which they are currently used, including information on availability, technical feasibility, economic viability, safety, and sustainability.
Strengthening institutional processes with respect to information on HFC-23 by‑product emissions: report by the TEAP (decision XXXIV/7): On Monday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, 35/2/Add.1). Nick Campbell, TEAP, presented an overview of the report, which identifies chemical pathways generating HFC-23 as a by-product, and highlights the considerable discrepancy between reported emissions and monitored atmospheric concentrations of HFC-23.
Responding to technical questions from BAHRAIN, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, INDIA, SAUDI ARABIA, the US, and GUINEA, the TEAP stressed the report presents the best estimates possible but could not convey the level of confidence some parties expected. Delegates took note of the report.
Emissions of HFC-23: On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou reminded delegates of the draft decision submitted by the US, on behalf of Australia, Canada, and Norway, on unexplained emissions of HFC-23 in recent years. He reported progress by the OEWG 45 contact group and presented a revised draft set out in Section II of document UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3 as draft decision XXXV/[E]. Parties noted, among others, that it may not be feasible to apply emissions limits universally. Delegates agreed to re-establish the OEWG contact group on the matter, co-chaired by Shontelle Wellington (Barbados) and Heidi Stockhaus (Germany), which met for the rest of the week.
In their discussions, the contact group considered general issues about the availability, format, confidentiality, and interpretation of data without addressing the draft CRP.
On Friday, contact group Co-Chair Wellington noted the group had reached agreement on the discussions, and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.16. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.16), MOP 35 requests the SAP to prepare a report for MOP 36 reflecting any new information regarding atmospheric monitoring and atmospheric modeling, with its underlying methodology, including in quantifiable terms, with respect to such emissions, and taking into account information reported under paragraph 3 ter of Article 7 by all parties that manufacture Annex C Group I and/or Annex F substances.
MOP 35 requests the TEAP to prepare a report for MOP 36 that includes the quantity of HFC-23 being consumed, by country and by sector; and updated estimates on amounts of HFC-23 generated and emissions from HCFC-22 production facilities, including methodology with respect to such emissions.
MOP 35 requests the Secretariat:
- in advance of OEWG 46, to provide options on potential changes to reporting form 3, specifically concerning when HFC-23 is generated, destroyed, or maintained as stocks;
- to make available on the website, aggregated by party, data reported by any parties producing Annex C Group I and/or Annex F substances; and
- to invite parties with available relevant scientific or technical information that may help inform the SAP reports mentioned in this decision.
Proposed Adjustments to the Montreal Protocol
On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this item, pointing to earlier discussions initiated by Cuba (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/7). Parties urged for further progress on the matter and ensuring support for countries impacted by COVID-19 to adjust their baselines. Delegates agreed to establish a contact group, co-chaired by Patrick McInerney (Australia) and Juan Jose Galeano (Argentina), which met for the rest of the week.
On Wednesday, the contact group considered a proposal submitted by the US addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by deferring any consideration of the compliance status for listed eligible parties with regard to control measures for their HFC consumption. On Thursday, the contact group co-chairs presented a proposal, with a list of countries based on three types of criteria: (a) demonstrated HFC use reductions on average 2018-2019 to 2020-2022 data (21 countries with nine having a positively affected baseline); (b) estimated 2024 consumption greater than the baseline (no countries included, since this would involve a judgment to determine the consumption in 2024); and (c) those that had expressed concern to the Secretariat about their affected baselines (21 countries).
On Friday, Co-Chair McInerney reported on the resolution of a deferred compliance for eight listed countries and presented the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.18). BARBADOS clarified that it did not agree with the years used to assess her country’s particular situation. CUBA noted that it might request an extension of the deferral for 2026-2028. Delegates agreed to forward the CRP to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.18), MOP 35 decides:
- the ImpCom under the Non-Compliance Procedure should defer, until 2026 data becomes available, any consideration of the compliance status with regard to control measures for consumption of Annex F substances, for the following eight parties: Botswana, Cuba, Mauritius, Mongolia, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, and Turkmenistan; and
- to urge those that have not already done so to expeditiously submit their respective Kigali Implementation Plans (KIPs) for consideration by the ExCom.
Shared Responsibility to Stop Dumping Inefficient Equipment Containing Obsolete Refrigerants
Ghana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said such a decision would help drive collaborative efforts to engage both importing and exporting countries in finding solutions to stop the dumping of obsolete and harmful equipment. On Tuesday, delegates continued discussions, including calling for solutions to ensure countries do not become recipients of inefficient and obsolete equipment, and highlighting the compliance implications for recipient countries. They established a contact group, co-chaired by Tumau Neru (Samoa) and Karen Bianco (US), which met for the rest of the week.
In their discussions, the contact group considered the African Group’s proposed draft decision, with some suggesting that manufacturers and exporters consider instituting measures to prohibit the export of such equipment to recipient countries that have prohibitions. Some objected to restrictions on this equipment, noting the lack of regard for high-ambient-temperature countries that do not have alternatives. Others suggested regionally-agreed standards to strengthen border controls in the Global South.
On Friday, Co-Chair Bianco noted the group had reached agreement on the discussions, and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.14. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision on import and export of prohibited cooling equipment (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.14), MOP 35:
- requests the ExCom to consider allocating funding within KIPs and HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs) for assisting importing Article 5 parties to develop and enforce policies and measures that will prevent future non-compliance caused by the importing of prohibited cooling equipment; and
- urges parties exporting such equipment to consider instituting measures to prohibit the export of cooling equipment relying on controlled substances that is no longer permitted to be placed on the market in the exporting party.
Energy-Efficient and Low- or Zero-Global-Warming-Potential Technologies
Outcomes of the workshop on energy efficiency: On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, Workshop.12/1, 35/10, 35/INF/9), including the draft workshop report (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/11). Delegates, among others, called to prioritize energy efficiency with clear recommendations for the path forward, with others pointing to opportunities for increasing energy efficiency, including through the MLF. They agreed to engage in informal discussions on the way forward. On Wednesday evening, EGYPT and KUWAIT requested to establish a contact group to discuss potential recommendations to the MOP on issues related to energy efficiency. Delegates agreed to informal consultations on Wednesday night.
On Friday, informal group Facilitator Sandrine Benard (Norway) reported on the agreement within the group and presented a draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.15). Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.15), MOP 35 requests the TEAP to include in its 2024 progress report updates on the information identified in paragraph 1(a) of decision XXXIV/3 on the topic, taking into account discussions at MOP 35.
Abating Carbon Tetrachloride (CTC) Emissions
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou drew attention to the draft decision based on Switzerland’s document introduced at OEWG 45 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3). SWITZERLAND highlighted that the decision, among others, calls on the TEAP to compile best practices in abating CTC by process and geographical region. Some delegations opposed discussions on this issue saying there is inadequate information available from parties for compiling best practices, calling instead for a TEAP report providing updates on national regulations that support the minimization of CTC. Delegates agreed to establish an informal group to discuss the draft decisions on CTC and feedstock, co-facilitated by Michel Gauvin (Canada) and Ana Maria Kleymeyer (Federated States of Micronesia).
On Friday, Co-Facilitator Gauvin noted the informal group had reached agreement on the discussions, and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.21. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.21), MOP 35 requests the TEAP, in consultation with the SAP, to provide in its 2024 progress report, an update on CTC emissions, including:
- emissions by source categories, including emissions as a percentage of CTC total production, with a description of the methodology used by the Panel;
- updated information on alternatives for CTC use as feedstock applications, including information on technical feasibility, economic viability, safety, and sustainability; and
- updated information on best practices and technologies for minimizing CTC emissions.
Issues Related to “Exempted” Uses Under the Montreal Protocol
Nomination for critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide: On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, 35/2/Add.1, and WG.1/45/8). Ian Porter, Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC), noted the Committee’s favorable evaluation of the only critical-use nomination for methyl bromide submitted by Canada for the fumigation of strawberry runners on Prince Edward Island. The draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.3) was forwarded to the HLS, which adopted it on Friday.
Final Decision: In the preamble to the decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.3), MOP 35, inter alia:
- notes that the TEAP has identified successful chemical and non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide and the use of such alternatives in combination provides excellent results; and
- note that Canada takes into account available stocks of methyl bromide in licensing, permitting, or authorizing production and consumption for critical uses, and is fully committed to a further reduction of the amount to be nominated for 2025, and does not intend to submit a nomination for 2026.
In the decision, MOP 35 agrees:
- to permit Canada, for the agreed critical-use category, the levels of production and consumption for 2024, which are necessary to satisfy the identified critical use; and
- Canada shall endeavor to license, permit, authorize, or allocate quantities of methyl bromide for the critical use specified in Table A of the annex to the present decision.
Feedstock uses: On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced this item pointing to Australia’s draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3 as draft decision XXXV/[H]). Parties welcomed the linkages with CTC discussions, with some noting that the use of HFCs as feedstock is controlled under the Protocol and must be reported. Others said that the focus should be on strengthening national capacities without overburdening countries, highlighting that CTC emissions from feedstock production are low. Delegates agreed to establish an informal group to discuss the draft decisions on CTC and feedstocks, co-facilitated by Michel Gauvin (Canada) and Ana Maria Kleymeyer (Federated States of Micronesia).
On Friday, Co-Facilitator Gauvin noted the informal group had reached agreement and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.10.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.10), MOP 35 requests the TEAP, in cooperation with the SAP, to provide in its 2024 progress report an update on the emissions from feedstock production, as by-products and from feedstock use of controlled substances, including:
- sources of such emissions, including percentage increases with respect to increased production of controlled substances to be used for feedstock applications;
- a comparison of estimates of annual global emissions of controlled substances by species based on bottom-up calculations and estimates made by SAP on the basis of atmospheric observations;
- methodology adopted for estimating the emissions;
- updated information on alternatives, including information on technical feasibility, economic viability, safety, and sustainability; and
- information on best practices and technologies for minimizing emissions.
Quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) uses of methyl bromide for which alternatives are available: On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced the item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, WG.1/45/8), highlighting that only three parties have submitted relevant information. The EU emphasized the MBTOC’s assessment that eliminating emissions from QPS uses would be the single largest short-term opportunity for reducing stratospheric chlorine. She presented CRP.2, submitted with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, and Switzerland. Delegates agreed to further discuss this in the informal group on VSLS, co-facilitated by Jana Mašíčková (Czechia) and Liana Ghahramanyan (Armenia).
On Friday, Co-Chair Mašíčková noted that the group was unable to reach agreement on a CRP.
Future Availability of Halons and their Alternatives
On Monday, Co-Chair Djossou drew attention to OEWG 45 consideration of the TEAP report prepared by the Fire Suppression Technical Options Committee (FSTOC) on future amounts of halons available to support civil aviation. He highlighted that the updated report contains information on halon recovery and recycling. Delegates agreed to further discuss the issue at OEWG 46.
Lifecycle Refrigerant Management (LRM)
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced the item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, WG.1/45/8). The FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA presented CRP.4, stressing that effective LRM could avoid the emission of 90 billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent. Many parties welcomed the proposal, also discussing, among others, insufficient resources to recover refrigerants from ODS banks; environmental and economic benefits of sustainable LRM; and the need to focus on the aspects of recycling, reclamation, and destruction of refrigerants in dedicated facilities. Delegates agreed to establish a contact group, co-chaired by Martijn Hildebrand (Netherlands) and Idris Abdullahi Ishaka (Nigeria).
On Wednesday, the contact group discussed, inter alia, defining the scope of LRM and focusing the CRP on the avoidance of refrigerant leakage and on end-of-life management. Some introduced alternative options for the proposed TEAP report, referring to the availability and accessibility of technologies for leak detection, recycling and reclamation, and destruction of refrigerants.
On Friday, Co-Chair Hildebrand noted that the group had reached agreement on the discussions, and presented the draft decision contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.4/Rev.1. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.4/Rev.1), MOP 35 requests the TEAP to prepare a report for OEWG 46 on leakage prevention, recovery, recycling, reclamation, and destruction of refrigerants on:
- available technologies and their accessibility in Article 5 countries, including regionally specific approaches;
- associated obstacles and challenges;
- the costs and climate and ozone benefits, taking into account the experience under the MLF; and
- policies, incentive schemes, such as producer’s responsibility schemes, good practices, and lessons learned, related to ensuring the effective leakage prevention, recovery, recycling, reclamation and disposal of refrigerants.
MOP 35 further:
- requests the ExCom to consider providing a window of funding for countries who have completed their national inventories and plans as per decision 91/66 to support the implementation of the plans;
- encourages parties to develop strategies, policies, and activities that address LRM; and
- requests the Secretariat to organize a one-day workshop in 2024, back-to-back with the OEWG or the MOP, to share information, experiences, and lessons learned, and to assess challenges related to ways of strengthening LRM.
Strengthening Montreal Protocol Institutions, including for Combating Illegal Trade
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn presented a summary from the OEWG 45 informal discussion on this topic (UNEP/OzL.Pro.WG.1/45/8). Delegates discussed, among others, reports of undeclared disposable cylinders entering the EU from Türkiye, cases of detaining illegal shipments, and returning to country of origin at the cost of the importers.
On Wednesday, delegates discussed the draft decision submitted by the US on preventing illegal trade of controlled substances (CRP.5). The US clarified that the CRP highlights actions to be taken by parties to facilitate information exchange. Delegates agreed to establish a contact group, co-chaired by Martin Alex Bjørnholst (Denmark) and Miruza Mohamed (Maldives). The contact group discussed, among others: that requests for information sharing should be carried out through a notice to parties to contribute to annual reports rather than periodic sharing of information; and the need for synergies with reporting in the informal Prior Informed Consent (iPIC) mechanism.
On Friday, Contact Group Co-Chair Bjørnholst reported on agreement by the group and presented the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.5/Rev.1). Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.5/Rev.1), MOP 35:
- encourages parties to facilitate the exchange of information on best practices to prevent illegal trade of controlled substances, and to inform the Secretariat of practices used by entities attempting unauthorized imports of controlled substances that may include the mislabeling of containers of controlled substances or misreporting of controlled substances on customs declarations; and
- requests the Secretariat to provide, before OEWG 46 and on an annual basis thereafter, a compilation of information provided by parties pursuant to this decision as well as decision XXXIV/8 on the issue.
On Wednesday evening, the EU presented a draft decision (CRP.7), which proposes a roadmap to be discussed at MOP 36, and calls on the Secretariat to compile a synthesis report to be addressed at OEWG 46. Late on Friday night, Cornelius Rhein (EU) reported on informal consultations with regard to the draft decision and presented UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.7/Rev.2. The US and UK requested further time for consideration. SWITZERLAND supported progressing the CRP. On proposal by OEWG Co-Chair Brieskorn, delegates agreed to postpone this agenda item for consideration by OEWG 46.
Global Coverage of Atmospheric Monitoring Options for Enhancing such Monitoring
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn presented a summary of OEWG 45 deliberations on this issue (UNEP/Ozl.Pro.WG.1/45/8). Some parties requested the Secretariat and the SAP to prepare a background document on the options, including possible funding mechanisms for expanding atmospheric monitoring. Delegates agreed to reconsider this item based on a CRP from the EU.
On Wednesday evening, the EU presented their proposal (CRP.6). Several parties called for more time to review it and agreed to meet in the margins of the meeting to consider the text.
On Friday, Cornelius Rhein (EU) reported on successful informal consultations and presented the draft decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.6/Rev.1). Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.6/Rev.1), MOP 35 requests the Secretariat to provide the following information to OEWG 46:
- an update of the information provided under decision XXXIII/4 (enhancing the global and regional atmospheric monitoring of substances controlled by the Protocol), including refining associated cost estimates, and providing a list of potential monitoring station locations; and
- options for sustainable funding to establish new regional monitoring capacities.
Future Configuration and Function of the TEAP’s TOCs
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced the item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2, WG.1/45/2/Add.2, WG.1/45/8), noting the TEAP’s proposal to establish two sub-groups under the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (RTOC). Some parties called to align the proposal with the TEAP’s TOR, while others preferred discussing this matter at a future meeting. Delegates agreed to informal discussions.
On Friday, Cindy Newman (US) reported on successful discussions in the margins on this draft decision co-sponsored by the EU and Norway and presented the draft (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.8). Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.8), the MOP requests the TEAP, in its progress report prepared ahead of OEWG 47, to provide options on the organization of the Panel and its TOCs, considering the Panel’s TOR established in decision XXIV/8, and informed by consultation with the TOCs’ Co-Chairs and members, and by their experiences with operating, on a trial basis, with new ways of organizing their work.
Nominations of Experts to the SAP, EEAP, and TEAP
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Brieskorn introduced this item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2), enumerating existing nominations for the SAP, the TEAP, and the EEAP, and urged parties to submit any further nominations in time. Parties established an informal group, co-facilitated by Mariska Wouters (New Zealand) and Osvaldo-Patricio Alvarez-Perez (Chile), to agree on the nominations and develop a CRP.
On Wednesday, Co-Facilitator Wouters reported the group agreed on the SAP and EEAP Co-Chairs for a four-year term. She said the group agreed on two nominations for the Medical and Chemical Technical Options Committee (MCTOC) and that the nominations for RTOC are pending. She requested more time to agree on nominations for senior experts.
On Thursday, Co-Facilitator Alvarez-Perez reported that the informal group had reached agreement on the nominations, pending the discussion on the reconfiguration of the RTOC.
On Friday, the Secretariat reported on completed election nominations for the three Assessment Panels and presented UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.9. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it.
Final Decision: In its decision (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.9), MOP 35 thanks Paul Newman (US) and John Pyle (UK), who served as SAP Co-Chairs; and decides to consider the TOR of all Co-Chairs of the SAP and EEAP in 2027.
MOP 35 endorses appointments of:
- Lucy Carpenter (UK) and Kenneth Jucks (US) as SAP Co-Chairs for a term of four years;
- Paul Barnes (US) as EEAP Co-Chair for an additional term of four years;
- Omar Abdelaziz (Egypt), Roberto Peixoto (Brazil), and Rajan Rajendran (US) as Co-Chairs of the RTOC for an additional term of four years;
- Takeshi Eriguchi (Japan) and Jianjun Zhang (China) as MCTOC Co-Chairs for a term of four years; and
- Suely Carvalho (Brazil), Ray Gluckman (UK), Marco Gonzalez (Costa Rica), and Shiqiu Zhang (China) as senior experts of the TEAP for an additional of term of one year, and Sukumar Devotta (India) for a term of one year.
Compliance and Data Reporting Issues
Work and recommendations of the Implementation Committee (ImpCom): On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou introduced the item (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2). ImpCom President Gene Smilansky (US) presented CRP.1 containing three draft decisions forwarded by the ImpCom on reporting, governing consumption and production, and establishing licensing systems. Parties agreed to forward the CRP to the HLS. On Friday, the HLS adopted the three draft decisions contained in UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.1.
Final Decisions: In its decision on data and information provided by the parties in accordance with Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/CRP.1), MOP 35, among others:
- urges the parties listed in paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of the present decision to report the required data to the Secretariat as soon as possible;
- requests ImpCom 72 to review the situation of those parties; and
- encourages parties to continue reporting consumption and production data as soon as the figures are available, and preferably by 30 June each year, as agreed in decision XV/15.
On its decision on non-compliance in 2021 with the provisions governing consumption and production of controlled substances in Annex C, group I (HFCs) by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, MOP 35:
- urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to provide ImpCom 72 with an explanation for the deviations as a matter of urgency, together with data for 2022, no later than 15 March 2024, and, if appropriate, to submit a revised plan of action to ensure its return to compliance with the control measures for HCFCs in 2023;
- requests the party to submit a progress report on efforts to establish additional national policies facilitating the HCFC phase-out;
- invites the party, if necessary, to send a representative to ImpCom 72; and
- cautions the party, that, in the event that they fail to return to compliance, MOP parties will consider measures including ensuring the substances that are the subject of non‑compliance are ceased.
In the decision on the status of the establishment of licensing systems under Article 4B, paragraph 2 bis, of the Montreal Protocol, MOP 35:
- takes note with appreciation of the efforts made by the parties in the establishment and implementation of licensing systems of the Montreal Protocol for the import and export of new, used, recycled, and reclaimed controlled substances listed in Annex F to the Montreal Protocol;
- urges the 12 parties listed in the annex to the decision to provide information to the Secretariat on the establishment and implementation of licensing systems as a matter of urgency, and no later than 15 March 2024, for consideration by ImpCom 72;
- urges all remaining parties to the Kigali Amendment that have not yet established and implemented the licensing systems referred to in the present decision to do so, and to report that information to the Secretariat within three months of doing so; and
- requests the Secretariat to review periodically the status of the establishment and implementation of the licensing systems referred to in this decision by all parties to the Protocol.
Ratification Status of the Kigali Amendment
On Tuesday, Co-Chair Djossou reported that 155 parties have ratified the Kigali Amendment as of the beginning of MOP 35, and presented document UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3 containing draft decision XXXV/[GG]. Delegates agreed to forward it to the HLS, which adopted it on Friday.
Final Decision: In decision X, contained in the compendium of decisions (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2), MOP 35 takes note that, as of 26 October 2023, 155 parties had ratified, approved, or accepted the Kigali Amendment to the Protocol; and to urge all parties that have not yet done so to ratify, approve, or accept it in order to ensure broad participation and achieve the goals of the Amendment.
On Tuesday, MOZAMBIQUE, supported by LESOTHO and ZAMBIA, raised the issue on the length of MOP meetings, noting that while the Protocol agenda has expanded, the time allocation has remained the same. Delegates took note of the request.
On Thursday, MOP 34 President Hassan Mubarak (Bahrain) opened the meeting, highlighting the status of the Kigali Amendment, which 155 states have ratified, urging the 43 outstanding countries to do the same.
Election of MOP 35 officers: On Thursday, President Mubarak announced that delegations had reached consensus on the MOP 35 Bureau, including: President: Azra Rogović-Grubić (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Vice-Presidents: Ndiaye Cheikh Sylla (Senegal); Adrian R. Forde (Barbados); and Philippe Chemouny (Canada); and Rapporteur: Mohammad Al Dosari (Saudi Arabia). Delegates elected the new Bureau by acclamation. MOP 35 President Rogović-Grubić thanked the parties for the confidence they had shown by electing her.
Adoption of the agenda of the HLS and organization of work: President Rogović-Grubić introduced the agenda (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/1), which delegates adopted without comment. She introduced the organization of work (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/2), which delegates adopted.
Credentials: On Friday, President Rogović-Grubić reported on the Bureau’s review of credentials, noting it approved the credentials of 110 out of 148 parties represented at MOP 35. She said the participation of the other 38 parties was approved provisionally on the condition that they forward credentials as soon as possible.
Synthesis Report on the 2022 Quadrennial Assessment
On Thursday, the SAP, EEAP, and TEAP presented a synthesis of their latest assessment reports (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/8). In the ensuing discussion, parties highlighted future challenges under the Protocol, including natural surface chlorine and bromine emissions, impacts from PFAS and TFA, the continued use of methyl bromide for QPS fumigation, and transitioning away from ODS in the pharmaceutical sector. Panel members encouraged parties to reflect their concerns in the TOR for the next quadrennial assessment. Delegates took note of the synthesis report.
Presentation by the Chair of the MLF ExCom
On Thursday, Annie Gabriel, Chair, MLF Executive Committee, reported collaborations with UNEP, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank on efforts related to the preparation of KIPs. Delegates took note of the report.
On Thursday, delegates heard statements from parties about their implementation actions, as well as challenges faced in implementing the Protocol and the Kigali Amendment.
On Friday, IRAN drew attention to the country’s training programme in dedicated centers promoting good practices, energy efficiency, and safety, and updated delegates on their progress in transitioning from ODS and HFCs.
THE GAMBIA called for further support for technology transfer and for the acceleration of the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in developing countries.
SAUDI ARABIA highlighted their Vision 2030, which features sustainability and environmental protection as pillars of the transformation of the country, and foreshadowed COP 16 to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Riyadh in late 2024.
BRAZIL noted her country has linked implementation of the Protocol to endeavors to achieve sustainable development, noting ongoing public consultations in preparations of its third phase of HPMPs.
PERU reported phasing out of most equipment containing ODS, noting progress in combating climate change, and the phase out of HCFC-22.
SIERRA LEONE highlighted legislation aligned with the Kigali Amendment, reporting successful enforcement and compliance of import and export regulations related to the Protocol. He further pointed to awareness-raising activities among local communities.
The PHILIPPINES reported on its complete phase-out of HCFC-141b and HCFC-22 (except for servicing purposes) and called for additional funding support and capacity building, especially for customs officers.
The INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF REFRIGERATION stated that the refrigeration sector is key for attaining sustainable development. He informed delegates of an upcoming workshop series to promote sustainable refrigeration at UNFCCC COP 28. He urged all countries to adopt cooling plans and highlighted projects for setting up food cold chains and low energy air conditioning to support carbon neutrality by 2050.
The CHILDREN AND YOUTH MAJOR GROUP, speaking for the first time at a MOP, urged increased engagement of youth in awareness creation and in seeking innovative solutions for alternatives in the HFC phase-down process. He said that while youth is at the forefront of impacts of climate change, they are also motivated to play a role in ozone protection.
Report of the Preparatory Segment
Early on Saturday morning, Co-Chair Brieskorn, also on behalf of Co-Chair Djossou, thanked delegates for their hard work and submitted the decisions approved by the Preparatory Segment (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.2 and /Add.1) to the HLS for adoption. The HLS adopted the decisions, which are summarized according to agenda item above.
Dates and Venue of MOP 36
On Friday, President Rogović-Grubić reported that, with no offers to host, COP 13 of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and MOP 36 are scheduled to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 28 October – 1 November 2024. She also reported that OEWG 46 is scheduled for 8-12 July 2024 in Montreal, Canada, and that draft decision XXXV/[HH] (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/3) will be updated accordingly. CUBA requested visa support for OEWG 46.
Adoption of the Meeting Report and Closure of the Meeting
After discussions on the replenishment of the MLF were concluded, early on Saturday, 28 October, MOP 35 Vice-President Philippe Chemouny (Canada) presented the draft report of the meeting (UNEP/OzL.Pro.35/L.1 and /Add.1). Rapporteur Mohammad Al Dosari (Saudi Arabia) took delegates through the report. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CZECHIA, the EU, NORWAY, and CHILE made editorial amendments. Delegates then adopted the meeting report.
Megumi Seki, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, expressed her heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to Juergen Usinger, technical adviser to the German Government, and Keiichi Onishi, MCTOC Co-Chair, who are leaving the “Ozone Family” after long years of service for a well-deserved retirement.
MOP 35 Vice-President Chemouny closed the meeting at 12:39 am on Saturday, 28 October 2023.
A Brief Analysis of MOP 35
When you drink a cup of Kenyan coffee, you are holding the culmination of the tireless efforts and collective wisdom of farmers who have transformed a gift of nature into its finest form for consumption. In this country, as elsewhere, coffee farmers form cooperatives to make sure the quality of the product is optimal. This involves sharing comprehensive knowledge about all factors influencing the quality of the bean, and strategizing to yield the best results for the community, their families, and the surrounding environment where the coffee is cultivated.
This brief analysis will not revisit what has made the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer a favored choice among many international treaty consumers. Instead, it will reflect on how this esteemed cooperative of diplomats, scientists, and other ozone experts is navigating the challenges associated with their transition towards “cultivating” a new variety into its product: climate change mitigation. Specifically, this analysis examines what MOP 35 identified as the emerging issues that will now be part of the Montreal Protocol process as it expands its scope to control additional substances. This includes the potential for creating synergies with other intergovernmental processes and the challenges this expanded role presents.
A Harmonious Blend
The parties to the Montreal Protocol met for the 35th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 35) in Nairobi, Kenya, to address a packed agenda. Not only did parties have before them traditional Montreal Protocol issues, such as addressing continued methyl bromide and carbon tetrachloride (CTC) uses, but they also began to feel the weight of the new issues added to the Protocol’s docket from the adoption of the Kigali Amendment. The implementation phase of the Kigali Amendment begins in 2024, so this was the time to ensure every piece falls into place. This both creates new opportunities for collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and new issues to discuss, such as considering stratospheric aerosol injections (SAI) and very short-lived substances (VSLS). But the Amendment also presents challenges, such as those for high ambient temperature (HAT) countries that are hard-pressed to shift towards more energy efficient appliances, and addressing equipment with high global warming potential (GWP), which is directly linked to illegal trade and dumping.
Parties to the Montreal Protocol have been preparing to tackle the opportunities and challenges on this new front for a number of years, as one would expect from this well-tuned collective. To support these efforts, MOP 35 designated nearly USD 1 billion—a record amount—to replenish the Multilateral Fund (MLF), which is the financial mechanism tasked with supporting countries in their implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The bulk of this allotment is destined toward the implementation of the Kigali Amendment, which aims to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and support the transition towards energy efficiency.
The successful replenishment of the MLF made MOP participants confident the “most effective environmental treaty” in history will be stretching its successes to tackle the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), something the Paris Agreement is struggling to achieve. Indeed, this confidence seems to be justified by factors that go well beyond the good reputation of the Protocol: its narrower scope compared to the Paris Agreement; the clear translation of internationally agreed benchmarks and timelines into national policies; a strict principle of putting science over politics; and the community-like work of the people involved in the intergovernmental process.
Developments under the Montreal Protocol mirror a shift occurring in international environmental law. More and more, work on core issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are coming together. These synergies are viewed as the most effective way to tackle the triple planetary crisis. Some high-level participants at MOP 35 explicitly confirmed in their statements that their implementation of the Kigali Amendment involves a hand-in-glove approach with climate action under the UNFCCC. And, as one delegate shared, it is therefore only logical that the Montreal Protocol continues to integrate climate change mitigation into its scope.
From a scientific perspective, the integration between ozone and climate “just makes sense.” At MOP 35, the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) made it very clear that stratospheric ozone recovery depends on future concentrations of both ODS and GHGs. The SAP reiterated that the decline in ODS emissions due to compliance with the Montreal Protocol avoids global warming of approximately 0.5–1°C by mid-century, with another estimated avoidance of 0.3–0.5°C warming by 2100 from the anticipated phase down of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment.
This integration between ozone and climate leads to further collaboration within the landscape of multilateral environmental agreements. Executive Secretary Megumi Seki announced that the Ozone Secretariat will have a strong presence and host a pavilion at the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 28) and will play an active part in promoting the United Arab Emirates’ Global Cooling Pledge initiative. Indeed, the collaboration among the different fora has become indispensable. The benefit for ecosystems and people was also emphasized by UNEP Executive Secretary Inger Andersen in her opening remarks, a sign of things to come.
During the opening of the High-Level Segment, Seki noted that the positive impacts of the Protocol on combating ozone depletion and in climate action will have an equally impactful consequence on biodiversity and ecosystems. She brought into play discussions from other multilateral environmental agreements on the need to tackle, in a coherent manner, the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution. This is indeed the theme of the next meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), which will convene under the theme, “Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.” Throughout the week, parties to the Protocol became more and more cognizant of the inevitable pull to tackle environmental challenges through collaboration and synergies in these key areas.
Savoring New Issues
There are a number of areas where a further reduction of ODS and HFC emissions can be achieved, and where GHG emissions could be reduced indirectly through more energy-efficient refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) appliances. Depending on parties’ situation, perspectives, and priorities, delegates did not always agree on where the immediate future focus of the Montreal Protocol should lie.
One new issue is the growing emissions of VSLS, particularly dichloromethane (DCM), as highlighted by the SAP in their assessment report. Parties did not necessarily agree on the threat VSLS pose to the ozone layer, but managed to agree to request the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and the SAP to include in their 2024 progress reports updated information on VSLS, their ozone-depleting potential, and on potential alternatives. If this potential is confirmed and considered substantial, many see controlling VSLS under the Montreal Protocol as a natural next step.
Another new issue is the potential effects of geoengineering, which the SAP has started to examine. The Panel identified important potential setbacks for ozone recovery should stratospheric aerosol injection, in this case of sulfur dioxide (SO2), be used to temporarily cool the planet. In their wish list for the next quadrennial assessment, parties formally invited the scientific community to address respective risks and uncertainties for the ozone layer, and requested the SAP to continue engaging on this topic.
Some MOP participants also highlighted that with the implementation of the Kigali Amendment, the MOP’s workload has significantly increased. This raises the question whether arrangements are needed to make sure that delegations can effectively participate in the meetings under the Protocol, including in multiple simultaneous negotiating groups. It remains to be seen how the MOP will deal with its increasing workload, and how support to developing countries will be rendered.
Roasting Challenges, Brewing Solutions
As novel ideas continue to emerge, the Protocol finds itself grappling with longstanding issues that demand a pragmatic and forthright approach. An enduring concern pertains to the problem of dumping of technology containing obsolete material, which had been a prominent topic of discussion at prior meetings. Parties from the Global South have expressed their unease about receiving obsolete technologies. Another issue of concern relates to the transition to energy efficient alternatives in countries experiencing extreme heat. Substantial time was dedicated to negotiating how to address these challenges and identify universally acceptable solutions.
In the post-Kigali Amendment world, some everyday technology now aligns more closely with environmental objectives. Specifically, cooling appliances, such as air conditioners, are being replaced with more efficient technologies. While this is a viable solution in some regions, in others, heat is a more pressing issue. In HAT countries, air conditioning is essential. HAT countries’ appeal to the MOP was straightforward: “We are eager to incorporate more energy-efficient technologies, but we need more time and money than others to adapt appropriately.” At MOP 35, delegates made limited headway in addressing this, requesting the TEAP to provide more information, and kicking the discussion down the road to 2024.
However, the historic replenishment of the MLF—just shy of USD 1 billion—was a cooling balm to many HAT countries, as the bulk of this replenishment will be focused on energy efficiency and alternatives to HFCs. Since its inception, the MLF has been seen as one of the most accessible funds, having helped the world to transition away from most ODS in record time. The replenishment of the Fund will give the developing world the means to effectively carry through their Kigali Implementation Plans.
While everyone seems to agree on the benefits of the shift to environmentally-friendly technology, what many do not always speak about are the practicalities of such a transition. What happens to equipment that is still operational but is being phased out because it is not as energy efficient as newer models? On the other hand, not all regions can afford the additional cost of replacing older technologies. In response to the question, the African Group flagged that “outdated and inefficient technology is often dumped” in the Global South. This not only impacts their economies, society, and environment but also compromises their compliance with the Montreal Protocol. At MOP 35 the fundamental issue was determining responsibility. Should it lie with the countries unable to enforce effective legal standards to halt the import of inefficient equipment? Does it rest with the countries allowing their obsolete appliances to leave their borders, despite knowing their harmful effects? Or is it a shared responsibility, and, if so, how can the Montreal Protocol provide an effective solution?
In the end, parties agreed to place the blame between importing and exporting countries, with importing countries bearing the brunt of the responsibility. The MOP decision fell far short of condemning and banning the export of this harmful equipment, which was the initial concern of many African countries. The decision only manages to urge exporting countries “to consider instituting measures to prohibit the export” of the equipment. “The worst thing is, when one part of the world is on fire, the other side will feel the heat,” shared one disappointed delegate.
Prior to the opening of the MOP, delegates expressed concern about two potentially “controversial” issues: a request by the US to reclassify China as a developing country under the Protocol, and a potential vote on the MOP leadership. The former had implications for many states, whose economic situation has vastly improved since their classification as Article 5 countries under the Protocol in 1987. The MOP managed to reach an elegant resolution on both issues. The agenda item on the reclassification of developing countries remains on the table, but most believe “we will not discuss it for a long time.” Parties were able to subtly diffuse the geopolitical tensions that threatened to spill over into MOP 35 due to the war in Ukraine, which have plagued other multilateral environmental agreements. Without a hitch, Azra Rogović-Grubić, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, took over the rotating MOP presidency.
Another issue handled with a “family touch” was the one raised by Cuba, and potentially impacting a significant number of countries, related to the effects of COVID-19 on reducing ODS consumption in some countries. While this reduction may seem positive, it affects compliance with the Protocol since lower baselines calculated during the COVID-19 years resulted in these countries to have expected levels of consumption of HFCs in 2024 that exceed their respective calculated baseline. Delegates from both North and South were observed in contact groups working diligently to find solutions to support these countries, eventually agreeing that the Implementation Committee defer consideration of compliance for eight countries.
The Perfect Cup – Karibuni Kahawa!
Delegates to the Montreal Protocol often refer to themselves as “family.” This is because the group’s collective efforts are rooted in mutual trust, diligent work, and shared wisdom. There were certain issues where disputes could have hindered the process. Instead, this family chose to set aside their differences in pursuit of collective aspirations.
Consider the coffee harvest. Ripe and unripe coffee berries coexist on the same branch, making harvesting a challenging task. To ensure the best quality, only ripe berries should be picked. This requires multiple pickings from the same tree throughout a significant portion of the year by the coffee farmer. Much like a coffee farmers’ cooperative, the Ozone Family is making a habit of nurturing issues until they are ripe enough for implementation.
And, just as coffee berries are processed and exported to different countries for their consumption, the MOP has adopted decisions on many issues that will eventually be roasted and ground by different parties in their implementation. This is a process that strives for harmony between the producers (the MOP) and the consumers (the countries), and at this meeting everyone was able to balance the acidity, bitter notes, and the sweetness and aromas to achieve what we love about a good cup of coffee.