MOP 24 Adopts 19 Substantive Decisions, Fails to Reach Agreement on HFC Amendment

16 November 2012: The 24th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 24) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer adopted 19 substantive and 11 procedural decisions. Decisions addressed, inter alia: the review by the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) of RC-316c; procedural issues related to the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and its subsidiary bodies; budget; and data and compliance issues.

MOP 24, held from 12-16 November 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland, did not reach agreement on the draft decision to amend the Protocol to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), or on the draft decision on clean production of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) 22 through by-product emission control. Delegates agreed to further discuss some issues at the next meeting, including on: trade of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) on ships sailing under a foreign flag; policies and controls influencing transition of ODS; and the implications of the UN Conference of Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Outcome Document for small island developing States' (SIDS) implementation of the Protocol.

Participants also addressed: essential-use and critical-use exemptions; Quarantine and Pre-Shipment (QPS) uses of methyl bromide; additional funding for the Multilateral Fund (MLF) to maximize the climate benefit of the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs; feedstock uses; discrepancies between “top-down” and “bottom-up” estimates of carbon tetrachloride (CTC); the evaluation of the MLF; ratification status of the Beijing Amendment; and alternatives to ODS. Participants also marked the Protocol's 25th anniversary through a special seminar, award presentations and statements.

According to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, the Montreal Protocol, one of the most successful international environmental agreements, is at a crossroads. On the Protocol's 25th anniversary, many participants highlighted factors that have made the Protocol successful over time, including its scientific foundation, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), financial assistance to developing countries through the MLF, and precise, time-bound targets. At the same time, participants could not reach agreement on controlling HFCs. Many delegates stressed that because the Protocol introduced HFCs as a substitute, parties have a responsibility to address the harmful climatic effects of these chemicals. Others oppose including HFCs within the Protocol, arguing that tackling HFCs is outside the Protocol's mandate. MOP 25 is likely to further consider this issue. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [MOP 24 Documents]