Montreal Protocol Advances HFC Phase Down Discussions

PARIS— After a five day preparatory meeting in Paris, Parties to the Montreal Protocol failed to finalize a formal negotiation process for discussions on hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) but agreed to hold an additional meeting prior to the Dubai Meeting of the Parties, which takes place early November.

Support for tackling HFCs under the Ozone Convention has grown since the first amendment proposals were tabled in 2009. Four proposals were submitted to the 36th Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), sparking unprecedented formal discussions in the plenary of the meeting while a second track ‘informal’ process took place to agree a mandate for a contact group to take negotiations forward.

Pakistan emerged as the only country blocking progress by the end of the five day meeting, refusing to allow reference to the amendment proposals in the negotiated mandate, even after proponents agreed to first address issues of importance to the countries that have up to now opposed phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

A successful negotiation process in Dubai, which precedes the Paris Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, could breathe air into the Paris climate negotiations and set a heavyweight precedent for an effective global climate treaty.

“Given that the vast majority of Parties to the Montreal Protocol support these proposals amendment it’s extremely frustrating that after another week of discussions we are yet to start formal negotiations,” said Mark W. Roberts, International Policy Advisor, EIA. “Time is running out and substantial political efforts need to be made to clear the path towards a rapid global agreement on HFCs.”

HFCs are highly potent greenhouse gases used as replacements for ozone depleting substances which are controlled by the Montreal Protocol. Phasing-down consumption and production of HFCs is a cost-effective and rapid solution that can avoid approximately 100 billion CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050.

Editor’s Notes

EIA prepared a briefing for the parties that analysed the amendment proposals and called on parties to make swift progress towards formal negotiations on a global HFC phase-down agreement.

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