Montreal Protocol Talks Further Commitment to Protect Ozone Layer and Climate
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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Parties at MOP 31 acknowledged the Kigali Amendment as the bridge between the ozone and climate regimes, among other interconnections.

On unexpected CFC-11 emissions, the meeting concluded with a decision that provides for information gathering on illegal activities and illegal trade of banned substances and encourages intersessional discussion.

Parties were invited to sign the Rome Declaration on the Contribution of the Montreal Protocol to Food Loss Reduction through Sustainable Cold Chain Management.

Speakers during the high-level segment of the 31st Meeting of the Parties (MOP 31) to the Montreal Protocol highlighted the interconnectedness of environmental challenges, punctuating a theme that was addressed in many respects during the week-long meeting.

MOP 31 was the first such meeting following the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment. This Amendment was agreed at MOP 28, in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016. It amends the Protocol to set phase-down schedules for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are produced as replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and thus a result of ozone depleting substances (ODS) phase-out efforts. HFCs are not a threat to the ozone layer, but have a high global warming potential (GWP). 

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) analysis from MOP 31 highlights that “parties acknowledged the Kigali Amendment is the bridge between the ozone and climate regimes.” In addition, the Amendment connects to issues of food security and sustainable agriculture, as well as to access to energy efficient technology. 

These interconnections were discussed at MOP 31, which convened from 4-8 November 2019, in Rome, Italy, in relation to decisions on the terms of reference (ToR) for the study on the 2021-2023 replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF), the unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), and the areas of focus for the 2022 quadrennial assessment reports of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP), the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP). MOP 31 also addressed: review of the TEAP’s ToR, composition, balance, fields of expertise, and workload; ongoing reported emissions of carbon tetrachloride (CTC); critical use exemptions (CUEs); and issues of non-compliance.

On unexpected CFC-11 emissions, the meeting concluded with a decision that provides for information gathering on illegal activities and illegal trade of banned substances and encourages intersessional discussion. The ENB analysis notes that, “many noted this will serve as a ‘litmus test’ of the Protocol’s ability to effectively address and resolve compliance matters.” 

The topics for the quadrennial assessment reports of the three Assessment Panels will include the state of the ozone layer, the interactions between ozone and climate, the effects of changes in the ozone layer on human health and ecosystems, as well as alternative technologies to the controlled substances. These reports will be submitted by the end of 2022 for consideration by Parties.

In addition, Parties were invited to sign the Rome Declaration on the Contribution of the Montreal Protocol to Food Loss Reduction through Sustainable Cold Chain Management. The Declaration will remain open for signature up until the start of MOP 32 in November 2020. It highlights cold chain’s key role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin Coverage of MOP 31] [UNEP Press Release]


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