29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer convened from 20-24 November 2017, in Montreal, Canada.
Resolving several difficult issues means that parties have taken steps to ensure continued implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and have taken the first steps to implementing the Kigali Amendment.
24 November 2017: The 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 29) adopted substantive decisions on essential-use exemptions and critical-use exemptions, future availability of halons, and energy efficiency, among other topics. MOP 29 met alongside the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (COP 11).
The joint meetings convened from 20-24 November 2017, in Montreal, Canada. While most of the agenda items at COP 11/MOP 29 “proved to be relatively uncontroversial,” the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Replenishment Contact Group worked until close to midnight on the final day, before they could agree on a draft decision to be presented to plenary. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports that, “Delegates’ most pressing task was to conclude the MLF replenishment negotiations successfully for the triennium 2018-2020. The MLF replenishment is crucial for Article 5 countries, as the fund finances activities to help met their compliance obligations to phase out ozone depleting substances (ODS).”
Energy efficiency was another item that required much discussion, with a draft decision finally agreed on Friday evening. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin notes that this issue was relatively new to the agenda, following the adoption of the Kigali Amendment, because, “According to experts at the meeting, improving energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs could at least double the climate change mitigation benefits of the HFC phase-down.” Parties agreed to hold a workshop on opportunities for enhancing energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs during the 40th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group in July 2018.
Among other decisions, parties requested regular updates on the safety standards relevant to the use of flammable low-global warming potential alternatives to HFCs. Montreal Protocol parties also decided that developing countries will receive US$540 million under the Montreal Protocol to continue work to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and to enable activities for phasing-down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment. Developed countries will provide the funding over the period 2018 to 2020 through the MLF.
Parties also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, with participation from, among others, former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney. In addition, an awards ceremony honored ‘Ozone Heroes’ who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to the progress and achievements of the Montreal Protocol, particularly during the last decade.
While some of the issues at this joint meeting proved tricky to resolve, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports that having reached these agreements means that parties have taken steps to ensure continued implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and have taken the first steps to implementing the Kigali Amendment, which received sufficient ratifications prior to the MOP, and will enter into force on 1 January 2019. [UN Environment Press Release] [Ozone Awards Ceremony Website] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage]