News

Ozone OEWG 30 Convenes

18 June 2010: The 30th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 30) of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer took place from 15-18 June 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.

At OEWG 30, parties discussed issues related to: the financial mechanism; hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and their alternatives; polyols; and environmentally sound management of banks of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Parties also considered issues concerning exemptions for ODS uses, including: essential- and critical-use exemptions for 2011 and 2012; transitions to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free metered dose inhalers; laboratory and analytical uses of ODS; and use of ODS as process agents. OEWG 30 also considered proposals by the US, Canada and Mexico (UNEP/OzL.Pro.WG.1/30/5) and by the Federated States of Micronesia (UNEP/OzL.Pro.WG.1/30/4) for amendments to the Montreal Protocol to control hydrofluorocarbons (HFC).

Introducing its trilateral proposal, the US stated that parties have been successful under the Montreal Protocol in solving the global environmental problem of ozone depletion, but risk exacerbating the problem of climate change through the transition to HFCs from CFCs and HCFCs.  The Federated States of Micronesia highlighted the potential for an HFC phase-down to avoid carbon emissions, noting this would contribute to delaying the adverse impacts of climate change. In the ensuing discussion, a number of delegates stressed that HFCs are the mandate of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and underscored that since HFCs are not ODS, they are outside the ambit of the Montreal Protocol. An open-ended contact group on HFCs was created, led by Agustín Sánchez Guevara (Mexico) and met twice during the meeting. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of OEWG 30] [Meeting Report] [Earth Negotiations Bulletin Archives of Ozone Negotiation Coverage]