Parties take up urgent response to CFC-11 emissions | Ozone Secretariat
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Parties take up urgent response to CFC-11 emissions

  • Evidence for rise in CFC-11 emissions indicate levels consistent with new production.
  • Parties adopt unanimous call for definitive identification of sources.
  • Panels tasked with delivering comprehensive findings to 30th Meeting of the Parties.

VIENNA, 16 JULY 2018 – Delegates, representatives, civil society groups, implementing agencies, and industry stakeholders gathered here this week for the 40th Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Montreal Protocol. This annual meeting is a critical opportunity for multilateral deliberations informed by scientific assessments in the months before the 30thMeeting of the Parties in November, which serves as the formal decision-making body to the Protocol.

With more than 140 national delegations on hand, representatives convened against the backdrop of an urgent challenge to over 30 years of ozone recovery.  

Addressing reports of a persistent rise in ozone depleting CFC-11 emissions, Executive Secretary of UN Environment’s Ozone Secretariat, Tina Birmpili opened the meeting with a reminder that the world now looks to the Protocol for answers and action. “It is in these moments that the mechanisms of the international community are more valuable than ever,” said Birmpili. "We cannot relax our vigilance for a second. We cannot let this go unaddressed. Any illegal consumption and production of CFC-11 demands decisive action.”

First uncovered by members of the Montreal Protocol’s Scientific Assessment Panel and published in Nature, delegates were presented with evidence for five key findings.

  1. Since 2013, the annual decline in CFC-11 concentration has been only half as fast as it was over the previous decade (2002-2012). 
  2. Emissions of CFC-11 increased after 2012 and have remained elevated in all years since.
  3. Monitoring data currently available suggest Eastern Asia as the source of these emissions.
  4. The scale of observations suggests unreported production of CFC-11 after the 2010 global phase-out.
  5. Despite accounts presented to the parties, the exact sources of these emissions have yet to be fully verified and accounted for.

The reaction from parties gathered here, emphasized the need for an urgent response based on a full review of the latest findings. In a process that reflected the careful mix of exacting science and collaborative action that has made the Montreal Protocol one of the world’s most successful and impactful multilateral agreements, delegates unanimously agreed to definitively quantify, locate and halt these emissions.

Submitted to the Meeting of the Parties for action delegates here requested a sweeping response highlighted by three immediate next steps.

  1. The Scientific Assessment Panel to provide to the parties a summary report on the unexpected increase of CFC-11 emissions, including additional information regarding atmospheric monitoring and modelling with respect to such emissions.
  2. The Technology and Economic Assessment panel to provide the parties with information on potential sources of emissions of CFC-11 and related controlled substances from potential production and uses, as well as from banks, that may have resulted in emissions of CFC-11 in unexpected quantities in the relevant regions.
  3. All parties to submit relevant scientific and technical information on related emissions monitoring by March 1, 2019.

Other key issues addressed by this body included an assessment of opportunities to enhance energy efficiency in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector while phasing down HFCs and implementation of the Kigali Amendment including destruction technologies for controlled substances and data reporting.

The 30th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 30) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is scheduled to convene from 5-9 November 2018.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS
 

About UN Environment:

UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

About the Ozone Secretariat:

The Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Based at the UN Environment offices in Nairobi, Kenya, the Secretariat functions in accordance with Article 7 of the Vienna Convention and Article 12 of the Montreal Protocol.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Keith Weller, Head of News and Media, UN Environment. keith.weller[at]un.org