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Ozone COP/MOP Does Not Address HFCs Phase-Down

Indonesian Minister for Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, banging a gong to officially open the high-level segment25 November 2011: Parties to the Montreal Protocol have agreed to a US$450 million replenishment of the Multilateral Fund to the Montreal Protocol (MLF), in order to phase-out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone depleting substances (ODS) with high-global warming potential (GWP).

The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 23rd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (COP 9/MOP 23) convened in Bali, Indonesia, from 21-25 November 2011. COP 9/MOP 23 also considered amendment proposals from Canada, the US and Mexico, and a separate proposal from the Federated States of Micronesia, to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Protocol. Proposal proponents had hoped that negotiations on the proposals would occur at the meeting. However, strong opposition from India, China, Argentina and some others prevented the proposals from being discussed in a contact group. Those opposed to the proposed amendment say that because HFCs are not ozone depleting, they fall outside the ambit of the Protocol and should be addressed under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Proposal proponents claim that, because HFCs are a common substitute for HCFCs, which are being phased out under the Protocol, the Protocol has a responsibility to also address HFCs.

COP 9/MOP 23 adopted over 25 decisions, including: a US$450 million replenishment of the MLF for the period of 2012-2014; issues related to exemptions; mitigation of ODS emissions from feedstock and process-agent uses; updating the nomination processes and recusal guidelines for the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP); the treatment of ODS used to service ships; and additional information on alternatives. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage of COP 9/MOP 23]