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Daily report for 6 November 2018

30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

The preparatory segment of the Montreal Protocol MOP 30 convened for its second day on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, in Quito, Ecuador. In the morning, delegates addressed linkages between hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in transitioning to low global warming potential (GWP) alternatives, and issues related to energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs.

In the afternoon, delegates discussed:

  • Proposed adjustments to the Montreal Protocol on HCFCs for non-Article 5 parties;
  • Unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11); and
  • Issue raised by the United Arab Emirates regarding eligibility for financial and technical assistance.

Linkages between HCFCs and HFCs in Transitioning to Low Global Warming Potential Alternatives

Co-Chair Yaqoub Almatouq summarized prior work on this issue and invited input. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by BAHRAIN, OMAN and the EU, proposed postponing discussion until the 41st meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG 41) to allow for further consultations. Parties agreed to the proposal.

Issues Related to Energy Efficiency While Phasing Down Hydrofluorocarbons

Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) Report on Energy Efficiency in the Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Heat-Pump (RACHP) Sectors: TEAP Energy Efficiency Task Force Co-Chairs Bella Maranion, Fabio Polonara and Suely Carvalho presented the executive summary of the Task Force’s supplemental report reflecting guidance and requests made by OEWG 40. Among the messages they highlighted were:

  • Low GWP refrigerants themselves are only expected to have a minor impact on system efficiency;
  • Most improvement in energy efficiency of systems can be achieved through optimization and use of new and advanced components;
  • In the absence of enabling energy efficiency policy, energy efficiency values for air conditioning are generally lower in Article 5 parties compared to non-Article 5 parties;
  • Minimum energy performance standards and labels have proved to be cost-effective policy tools;
  • District cooling systems may reduce power demand by 55-62% in comparison to conventional air conditioning systems and may consume 40-50% less energy;
  • There needs to be consideration of potential options for a new financial architecture, by which resources for energy efficiency could flow more certainly and effectively.

In the ensuing discussion, the GAMBIA noted that the funding agencies do not usually fund transitions projects. The FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA (FSM), with BURKINA FASO, called for more information on the obstacles preventing available finances to flow to energy efficiency in the RACHP sector, and requested TEAP to suggest approaches to ensure the Multilateral Fund (MLF) can partner with other financial organizations to improve financing for energy efficiency. The TEAP noted that the MLF partners with the Global Environment Facility to provide co-financing for large projects. NIGERIA highlighted the need for a globally acceptable threshold to determine energy efficiency in industrial equipment. ARGENTINA stressed that the parties need to decide whether they will fund energy efficiency. The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) called for more information on funding energy efficiency on an industrial scale. CHINA stressed the need for adequate funding to promote research in energy efficiency.

The US asked for more information on consumers’ benefits. INDIA and SOUTH AFRICA asked for further discussion on funding sources and architecture for energy efficiency. UGANDA called for a complementary treatment of energy access and energy efficiency.

Responding to questions and comments, TEAP said:

  • The benefits of energy efficiency for consumers would be experienced over the lifetime of the project;
  • The research focused on multilateral funds, which tend to be allocated to large projects;
  • Energy saving and operating costs for consumers are interrelated;
  • The report’s annex highlights different energy efficiency options so parties could chose the most cost-effective one.

COLOMBIA suggested developing a roadmap to understand funding gaps for energy efficiency in the RACHP sector.

Access of Article 5 Parties to Energy-Efficient Technologies in the RACHP Sector: RWANDA presented the African Group’s conference room paper (CRP) on this issue, saying it now reflects comments provided at OEWG 40. BRAZIL and FSM supported the CRP. CANADA, the EU and US expressed concern that the requests contained in the CRP may go beyond the mandate of the Montreal Protocol and the MLF.

ZAMBIA said lessons on synergies could be drawn from the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

SWITZERLAND, BARBADOS, NIGERIA, the EU and BAHRAIN welcomed further discussions on the African Group proposal in a contact group. LESOTHO called for clarity on the scope of the Protocol in relation to energy efficiency.

MEXICO stressed that to transition to low-GWP alternatives, we need to improve the energy efficiency of equipment, making it more sustainable in the long run. INDIA and NIGERIA called for a stronger focus on energy efficiency in refrigeration and air conditioning. NIGERIA also expressed concern about the dumping of obsolete, high-GWP refrigeration technology in Africa. KENYA called for specific indications on which areas of the African Group proposal were beyond the Protocol’s scope.

Co-Chair Newberg reconvened the OEWG contact group on this issue.

Proposed Adjustments to the Montreal Protocol on HCFCs for Non-Article 5 Parties

Co-Chair Almatouq introduced the two proposals for adjustments to the Montreal Protocol on HCFCs submitted by the US (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/6) and Australia with Canada (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/7). The RUSSIAN FEDERATION asked for the expansion of the scope of the adjustment to include medical aerosol and aerospace industries for rocket launching. The US highlighted that fire suppression is a safety and public health issue, so should be considered during the 2020-2030 period.

AUSTRALIA informed parties that a draft decision will be available for consideration.

The EU said parties should be addressing exemptions for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. SWITZERLAND questioned whether a “servicing tail” is the best way forward for this approach. NIGERIA cautioned that exemptions allowed in this instance might open a floodgate of requests for exemptions from other parties.

The issue was referred to a contact group for further discussion.

Unexpected Emissions of Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11)

Co-Chair Newberg introduced this issue (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/2, UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/3/Rev.1, UNEP/OzL.Pro.WG.1/40/INF/2/Add.1). The Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) and TEAP highlighted the information on CFC-11 emissions presented at a side-event on Monday.

JORDAN requested clarification on the measurement of new emissions given the lifecycle of CFC-11. The US asked for clarification on the correlation between sources of CFC-11 and CFC-22.

CHINA called for clarity on: the methodology used to estimate CFC-11 quantities in the atmosphere; the gap between TEAP figures related to foams and national data; and the factors taken into consideration in the measurement of CFC-11, including factors due to foam agents.

SAP said it recognized the correlation between CFC-11 and CFC-22, but that the extent of this correlation is not yet known. The EU asked why there was no further evidence on CFC-12 and on carbon tetrachloride (CTC). SAP explained that the global concentration of CFC-11 was expected to go down by 2% per year but is currently decreasing by 0.08%, indicating that there is an increase in emissions.

CHINA assured delegates that the recent findings have been taken very seriously, adding that 1,172 inspections were conducted countrywide and 10 enterprises have been brought to justice for their production and use of CFC-11. CHINA proposed holding a seminar on compliance and invited parties to participate.

The EU, BARBADOS, CHINA, NIGERIA, BURKINA FASO, ZAMBIA, CANADA and BAHRAIN supported forwarding the decision drafted by OEWG 40 (UNEP/OzL.Pro.30/3) to the High-level Segment (HLS). CANADA also highlighted other actions that could be taken, including action by the Implementation Committee. ZAMBIA noted that the Protocol needs to address the drivers of the CFC-11 emissions.

The US underlined the need for the Protocol to pause and reassess its role, lamenting that the increase in CFC-11 in the atmosphere was detected by entities outside the competencies of the Montreal Protocol although the Protocol is charged with monitoring emissions’ levels; and requested leaving the item open to give countries time to hold bilateral meetings to discuss the next steps.

VENEZUELA asked for further scientific data. FSM called on all parties to pay more attention to production and consumption of CFC-11 in their borders and make sure it is controlled. JAPAN, with others, emphasized that this issue can damage efforts made through the years as well as the credibility of the Montreal Protocol. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) called for a review on compliance and enforcement procedures.

Delegates agreed to forward the draft decision to the HLS while keeping the agenda item open for further discussion.

Issue Raised by the United Arab Emirates Regarding Eligibility for Financial and Technical Assistance

This agenda item was introduced by Co-Chair Al-Matouq. The UAE reiterated its need for financial and technical support under the obligations of the Kigali Amendment. He stressed the UAE’s historical support and compliance to the Montreal Protocol without prior request to the MLF. Calling for more bilateral consultations on this matter, the UAE asked for this issue to be deferred to MOP 31 or beyond. SAUDI ARABIA, BAHRAIN, JORDAN, EGYPT, SYRIA, MOROCCO, BANGLADESH, LEBANON and OMAN supported the UAE request.

IRAN asked parties for more elaboration on the categorization of Article 5 parties in relation to the request put forward by the UAE as an Article 5 party.

The US said it was open to allowing the UAE more time for bilateral consultations, but raised questions about UAE’s categorization as an Article 5 party.

Delegates agreed to defer discussions as requested.

In the Corridors

Discussions on energy efficiency took paradoxical turns on day 2 of MOP 30. First, the TEAP’s recognition of significant funding for energy efficiency transitions, but also barriers to accessing it. “For once it’s nice to hear that there is already money out there,” quipped one delegate from the developing world, “but what’s the magic formula to getting our hands on it?” Second, the discussion on whether the scope of the Montreal Protocol allows for enforcement of policies and regulations to avoid market penetration of energy-inefficient technologies. “It’s interesting that countries are bringing up scope when we are already dealing with HFCs which are definitely not ODS. Why not just focus on making the biggest impact by generating the most co-benefits for climate while improving energy efficiency in poor countries?” queried another delegate, eager to see the discussions progress.

As expected, the plenary room was packed during discussions on CFC-11. Some delegates were moved by China’s statement expressing regret at the increased emissions and detailing the government’s response measures so far. Others, however, took a different line, looking beyond the responses to this particular lapse, and querying the role and efficacy of the Protocol’s institutions, some of which are solely responsible for monitoring releases of controlled substances. “If it were not for a scientific monitoring site in Hawai’i detecting the increase in CFC-11, this would have been a regular meeting,” said one delegate, “but the magnitude of this lapse puts the credibility of the entire Protocol at stake.” The US call for the Protocol to “pause and rethink” how the Protocol approaches compliance was a chilling one, and many left the afternoon plenary wondering what the bilateral discussions on this issue will mean for future of the Protocol.

Further information