9 November 2018: The 30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 30) adopted 21 decisions, including items important to the January 2019 entry into force of the Kigali Amendment on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Decision elements related to the Kigali Amendment included: data reporting issues and a timeline and revised reporting forms, ways to report mixtures and blends, and setting global warming potential (GWP) values for HCFC-123, HCFC-124, HCFC-141, and HCFC-142; approved destruction technologies to be used for HFCs; the Multilateral Fund (MLF) Executive Committee’s (ExCom) progress in developing guidelines for the financing of the HFC phase-down; and access of Article 5 Parties to energy-efficient technologies in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) sectors.

MOP 30 also adopted decisions on: future availability of halons and their alternatives, especially in sectors such as civil aviation; nominations for critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide for 2019 and 2020; development and availability of laboratory and analytical procedures that can be performed without using substances controlled under the Protocol; a proposal to permit essential use exemptions for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for specific uses by certain Parties; recently detected unexpected emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11); a review of the work and recommended decisions of the Implementation Committee (ImpCom); and a review of the terms of reference, composition, and balance of the scientific and technical advisory bodies.

The Montreal Protocol is entering a transitional phase where its tried-and-true institutions and procedures might need to be adapted.

Among the issues that were discussed at MOP 30 without decisions were: the relationship between stratospheric ozone and proposed solar radiation management strategies; linkages between HCFCs and HFCs in transitioning to low-GWP alternatives; new terms of reference for the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP); a possible change in the composition of the MLF ExCom; and safety standards.

During MOP 30, the latest quadrennial review from the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) titled, ‘Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2018,’ was presented, highlighting that actions taken under the Montreal Protocol have resulted in “long-term decreases in the atmospheric abundance of controlled ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) and the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.”

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin analysis of MOP 30 highlights that, “With the recent confirmation of CFC-11 emissions, Parties to the Montreal Protocol found themselves oscillating between old and new challenges: the old being having to address the recent emissions of CFC-11, a substance that has been banned since 1996; and the new being whether there is a need to reassess the Protocol’s institutions to address compliance and enforcement.” It concludes by noting that the Montreal Protocol “is entering a transitional phase where its tried-and-true institutions and procedures might need to be reassessed and adapted to protect its hard-won reputation as one of the most successful multilateral environment agreements (MEAs).”

MOP 30 convened from 5-9 November 2018, in Quito, Ecuador, and brought together over 500 delegates, including representatives of 144 Parties to the Protocol, members of the Protocol’s technical advisory bodies, as well as representatives of UN agencies and programmes, regional organizations, industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). [IISD RS coverage of MOP 30] [UN Environment Press Release on Scientific Assessment] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Scientific Assessment]