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Annex X : Summaries of presentations by members of the assessment panels on the 2010 quadrennial assessment[13] during the high-level segment

I. Environmental Effects Assessment Panel

1. The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) Co-Chair gave an overview of the key findings of the 2010 EEAP report, stating that the success of the Montreal Protocol has prevented large-scale environmental impacts of ozone depletion, such as increases in UV radiation and consequent damage to human health and ecosystems. Increases in sun-burning (erythemal) UV-B radiation due to ozone depletion have been small outside regions affected by the Antarctic ozone hole. As a result of the Montreal Protocol, major increases in skin cancer rates that would have occurred with uncontrolled ozone depletion have been prevented. Large reductions in the growth and productivity of plants and aquatic organisms, and hence significant changes to the global carbon cycle, also have been avoided. In the future, environmental effects on human health, biota, and materials will be compounded by new combinations of environmental factors resulting from the interaction of increasing atmospheric CO2, climate change, and UV radiation.

2. The EEAP Co-Chair then summarised the key consequences of ozone depletion, UV radiation and climate change interactions for human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, air quality and construction materials. It was noted that effects of UV-B radiation on human health include increased cataract and melanoma of the eye, decreased immunity for certain diseases, and increased skin cancer incidence. Interactions of climate variables, such as temperature, can exacerbate UV radiation effects on health. There is a need for further information to the public for following a balanced lifestyle to allow for sufficient Vitamin D production from UV-B radiation, which is important for maintaining bone structure and preventing certain diseases. Rising temperature, rainfall, extreme droughts and increasing carbon dioxide levels together with UV radiation result in complex responses and feedbacks for terrestrial ecosystems, raising concerns of significant implications for food security and food quality. The role of oceans as a sink for the rising carbon dioxide levels has contributed to the acidification of the water with negative effects for skeletal formation in calcified organisms, which increases their vulnerability to UV radiation. Nutrient cycling through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere are accelerated by UV radiation and climate change. The cleansing effect of hydroxyl radicals, produced in the atmosphere by solar UV radiation, will decrease with the expected recovery of stratospheric ozone. Such a decline in this cleansing effect would increase photochemical smog at low and middle latitudes, with negative implications for human health and the environment. Current research indicates that low concentrations of the breakdown products of HCFCs and HFCs (e.g., trifluoroacetic acid) currently do not constitute a significant risk to human health or the environment. However, this should be continuously assessed as the production of the substitutes increase. The effects of climate change and UV radiation on construction materials such as plastics and wood indicate increased damage by UV radiation in combination with high temperatures, humidity and atmospheric pollutants. Some of these effects can be offset by protective stabilisers and wood-plastic composites.

II. Scientific Assessment Panel

3. The Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) Co-Chairs spoke on the science findings from the 2011 Synthesis Report and the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010. The SAP Co-Chair noted that the Synthesis Report shows that the Montreal Protocol is working to protect the ozone layer, and that furthermore this finding has strengthened since the 2006 assessments. The total abundance of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) in the atmosphere continues to decline, even though atmospheric levels of ODS replacements such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are increasing as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been phased out. Ozone column amounts have neither increased nor decreased in the last decade, a finding that is consistent with both the small ODS changes during this period and the current understanding of the atmosphere.

4. The SAP Co-Chair summarized the overarching findings of the Synthesis Report on three topics. (1) Ozone layer and climate: the Synthesis Report finds that these two issues are intricately connected. Ozone as well as ODSs impact climate, and in turn, both are impacted by climate. Hence, it may be prudent to consider ozone layer and climate protection together when deciding upon control mechanisms for anthropogenic chemical emissions. The magnitude of the consequences of climate-ozone interactions for health, biodiversity, ecosystem function and feedbacks are currently uncertain. It is technically and economically feasible to accelerate the phase-out of ODSs that are greenhouse gases (GHGs), to phase down the use of high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and to leapfrog the use of high-GWP HFCs as alternatives for most HCFC applications. (2) Hydrofluorocarbons: HFCs have essentially zero ozone depletion potentials (ODPs) but high GWPs; the Synthesis Report finds that alternatives with lower GWPs are emerging. If unabated, the current HFC levels could, by the year 2050, grow to become 20% of all GWP-weighted GHG emissions. Breakdown products from HFC and HCFC uses, such as trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), are not expected to be a significant risk to health or the environment. (3) Methyl bromide: the Synthesis Report finds that further control of methyl bromide is still possible. For example, approximately 20–35% of present global consumption of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) uses could be replaced with available alternatives.

5. The SAP Co-Chair then summarized major findings of the 2010 SAP report, noting that (1) atmospheric abundances of ODSs are behaving as expected; (2) the coupling of climate and the ozone layer means that Montreal Protocol decisions can impact (and indeed already have impacted) both issues, and that climate change will become increasingly more important to the future ozone layer as ODSs decline; (3) the ozone hole continues to occur as expected and will persist until after midcentury; (4) global ozone depletion is much smaller than the ozone-hole depletion and will persist until about midcentury; and (5) changes in surface ultraviolet radiation have been small to date, and in the future will be more influenced by climate change than by ozone depletion.

6. The SAP co-chairs also noted that ozone depletion had been quite severe in both the Arctic and Antarctic in 2011. These depletions were noted to be consistent with our current understanding of polar ozone loss processes and the slow decline of ODSs in the polar stratosphere.

III. Technology and Economic Assessment Panel

7. Mr. Ian Rae, Co-chair of the Chemicals Technical Options Committee started the presentation on the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) 2010 Assessment Report. He mentioned the six Technical Options Committees (TOCs) under the TEAP, i.e., the Chemicals TOC, the Foams TOC, the Halons TOC, the Medical TOC, the Methyl Bromide TOC and the Refrigeration, AC and Heat Pumps TOC. He said that each TOC reports annually on the progress in phasing out sector production and consumption, and on the impact on emissions of ozone depleting substances, that TEAP and its TOCs respond to specific requests from the Parties, that the TEAP establishes Task Forces to deal with special requests and that the TEAP is involved in reviewing and making recommendations on essential or critical use nominations. The TOCs have 1or 2 meetings per year and TEAP has one one-week long meeting per year and also meets in the margins of the annual Open Ended Working Group and the Meeting of the Parties. He said that each TOC has a membership of 17 to 28 experts, except the MBTOC, which has 38 members. The TEAP has 20 members that are either co-chairs, TOC co-chairs or Senior Expert Members. In total, the TEAP and TOCs have 145 expert members, of which 88 are from non-Article 5 and 57 are from Article 5 Parties.

8. Mr. Ian Rae then continued the presentation on items related to the Chemicals Technical Options Committee in the 2010 TEAP Assessment Report. He mentioned that, during 2007-2010, 17 process agent uses were added to Table A, which contained the list of approved process agent uses, and 12 uses were deleted from the list as they were changed or abandoned. He suggested that Parties may wish to consider developing an improved standard method of reporting process agent emissions that were currently listed in Table B of the process agent decisions. He also said that analytical uses of ozone depleting substances, especially carbon tetrachloride are declining slowly as alternative methods are adopted. He noted that in-kind and not-in-kind alternatives have replaced 90% of solvent uses of ozone depleting substances, and that remaining ozone depleting substance solvent uses are now mainly found in parties operating under Article 5. Mr. Rae stated that a comprehensive review on carbon tetrachloride emissions was made but that there remains a significant discrepancy between the reported emissions and the observed atmospheric concentrations. He also stated that, during 2007 to 2010, little change had occurred in destruction technologies except for the cement-kiln use in one Article 5 Party. In terms of the way forward, Mr. Rae mentioned that it would be helpful to work with national and international standards bodies to establish new standard methods of analysis that do not use ozone depleting substances and that the reporting of ozone depleting substance volumes used for feedstock uses by Parties through the Ozone Secretariat may enable a more complete quantification of feedstock uses. He concluded by saying that a hurdle to overcome in the complete phase-out of ozone depleting substance solvents in Article 5 Parties will be the economic impact on small and medium size users who make up a major portion of the remaining solvent market. He also suggested that further studies will be needed to improve and reconcile bottom-up and top-down calculations of the carbon tetrachloride emissions, to search for unreported emission sources and to critically analyse UNEP inventory data and to possibly revise the atmospheric lifetime of carbon tetrachloride.

9. Mr. Miguel Quintero, co-chair Foams TOC (FTOC), then continued the presentation on items related to the foams in the 2010 TEAP Assessment Report. He mentioned that the HCFC phase-out is complete in all non-Article 5 Parties, with the XPS industry in North America being among the last to make the transition. He also said that hydrocarbons are currently the primary substitute, but there is pressure to further optimise this option by blending and that unsaturated HCFCs and HFCs (HFOs) are showing better thermal performance than saturated HFCs in continuing evaluations. However, substantial further validation in both performance and cost is required to support emerging commercialisation plans in the 2013 to 2015 timeframe. He stressed that concerns persist over the availability of low-GWP replacements for HCFCs in Article 5 Parties and that current options (pre-blended hydrocarbons, water blown, methyl formate, etc.) may not provide adequate solutions for small and medium sized enterprises. The recovery of ozone depleting substances from appliance foams continues to be practised but cost effectiveness in carbon equivalents will decrease as the product mix shifts to HCFC-containing foams. Further analysis of ozone depleting substance banks confirms that flows of ozone depleting substance-based foams from buildings will be modest for the next decade to come. As the way forward Mr. Quintero said that, for the transition in Article 5 Parties, there continues to be a need to characterise the performance of foams made from low-GWP alternatives, especially for rigid foam applications. Pilot projects for methyl formate, methylal, pre-blended hydrocarbons and supercritical CO2 funded by the Multilateral Fund were noted as being especially important. In non-Article 5 countries, the interest is in further improving energy efficiency. Additional pressure may arise if proposals to phase-down the use of saturated HFCs are adopted. Such measures may serve to strengthen research towards low-GWP solutions, in particular, towards the intelligent use of blends. Mr. Quintero said that further investigations are required to determine the most appropriate strategies for bank management in foams, in particular CFC management first, taking into account baseline release rates and other technical and economic factors. Furthermore, efficient ways of transferring existing destruction technologies from non-Article 5 to Article 5 Parties are needed.

10. Mr. Sergey Kopylov, co-chair Halon TOC, then continued the presentation on items related to the Halons in the 2010 TEAP Assessment Report. He mentioned estimates for the 2010 global bank of halons, and said that the use of Halon 2402 as a process agent by the Russian chemical industry has reducing the bank of this halon. He also said that there has been a lag in the establishment of banking and management programmes in Article 5 Parties and that the International Civil Aviation Organisation had adopted a revised resolution that amended the halon replacement dates to those recommended by the HTOC and industry. As regards the way forward Mr. Kopylov mentioned that, with no global production authorised for fire protection, the management of existing stocks is crucial to ensure halon availability for applications that need them and that Parties may wish to encourage national or regional banking schemes to maintain good records that minimise uncertainty in stored inventory. He stated that the destruction of halons for carbon credits may not provide the anticipated climate benefits. Mr. Kopylov said that, while there is no apparent shortage of recycled Halon 2402 on a global basis, there are regional shortages that Parties may wish to address. He noted that, despite the introduction of new halon alternatives and their adoption, there will be an ongoing need for halons, where the only halon alternative in a few applications will remain a high GWP HFC. He said that, given the 25-30 year life of civil aircraft, aviation dependency on halons will continue well beyond the time when recycled halons are readily available and that the cost to re-engineer some legacy halon systems can be expensive and, in many cases, industry will continue to rely on halons until retrofit will be mandated.

11. Ms. Marta Pizano, co-chair MBTOC, then continued the presentation on items related to Methyl Bromide in the 2010 TEAP Assessment Report. She mentioned that, in 2008, methyl bromide use was higher for quarantine and preshipment (QPS0 applications than for controlled uses for the first time, whereas, in 2010, QPS consumption was 51% higher. She noted that the increased use of methyl bromide for QPS is offsetting the gains made by reductions in controlled uses. She noted that while there is no obligation or incentive under the Protocol to limit QPS uses or emissions, some Parties had nonetheless phased out methyl bromide for QPS, and others are committed to a phase-out in the near future. She stressed that 20-35% of present global QPS use can be replaced with alternatives available today and that Parties may wish to give increased consideration to adoption of alternatives for the major QPS uses (timber, WPM, grain, logs).In her closing remarks she mentioned that improved knowledge on remaining methyl bromide uses for QPS will help guide a successful phase-out.

12. Mr. Lambert Kuijpers, co-chair of the refrigeration TOC, then continued the presentation on items related to Refrigeration, AC and Heat Pumps in the 2010 TEAP Assessment Report. He mentioned that more than 60 new refrigerants, many of them blends, have been introduced for use since the 2006 Assessment Report. He then gave a very brief overviews of specific issues from the different subsectors. In domestic refrigeration more than one-third of newly produced units globally use HC-600a; the balance use HFC-134a. In commercial refrigeration hydrocarbons (HCs) and R-744 (CO2) are gaining market share for stand-alone equipment in Europe and in Japan. HCFC-22 represents about 60% of the global commercial refrigerant bank. In non-Article 5 Parties, the replacement of HCFC-22 in supermarkets is dominated by R-404A and R-507A, with an increasing use of R-744. In industrial refrigeration, R-717 (ammonia) and HCFC-22 are the most common refrigerants. R-744 is gaining in low-temperature cascade systems where it primarily replaces R-717.

13. He said that in transport refrigeration virtually all new systems utilise HFC refrigerants (such as R-404A and HFC-134a). In air-to-air conditioners and heat pumps, R-410A, and to a limited degree R-407C, are still the major near-term replacements for HCFC-22. HFC-32 has been selected in some recent Multilateral Fund projects. Propane (HC-290) is being used in low charge split systems, window and portable air conditioners. In water-heating heat pumps, HCFC-22 is currently used in Article 5 Parties, while HFC blends are used elsewhere. R-744 based heat pumps have shown steady growth. In chillers, HFC-134a and R-410A are the most common options in smaller systems. The use of HCs and R-717 only forms a small fraction. Mr. Kuijpers noted that, in vehicle air conditioning, several HFC-134a replacement options for new cars (and light trucks) have been evaluated including R-744, HFC-152a and HFC-1234yf. The first vehicles using HFC-1234yf will be introduced in 2012.

14. Mr. Kuijpers noted that many of the lower GWP refrigerants are flammable, which increases the need to reduce refrigerant charge and to implement risk-mitigation technologies. He also flagged that there is a new emphasis on optimising system efficiency and reducing emissions of high-GWP refrigerants. He said that manufacturing of refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pump equipment by Article 5 Parties for export is expected to increase further. He said that in domestic refrigeration, and to a lesser extent in commercial stand-alone equipment, the trend will be a transition from HFC-134a to HC-600a. For two-temperature supermarket systems, R-744 is an option for the lower temperature level. In the near future, he said, the choices for the medium-temperature level will include new low GWP HFCs, R-744 and HCs. In air-to-air air conditioning and heat pumps, lower-GWP HFCs, HFC blends and HC-290 are the most likely near-term refrigerants to replace HCFC-22, while in future vehicle air conditioning, the front running candidate among global car manufacturers is HFC-1234yf. He concluded by saying that, in contrast to non-Article 5 Parties, the demand for service refrigerants in most Article 5 Parties will consist of HCFC-22 and HFC-based service blends.

15. Ms. Helen Tope, co-chair Medical TOC, then continued the presentation on items related to the Medical Technical Options in the 2010 Assessment Report. She said that technically satisfactory alternatives to CFC metered dose inhalers (MDIs) are available in almost all countries, for all key drug classes, for asthma/COPD and that most countries are expected to complete transition by about end of 2012, except China, which plans to phase out in 2016. She also noted that, with China supplying Russia’s and its own CFCs, the rest of the world could complete the CFC MDI phase-out with careful management of existing CFC stockpiles. Technically and economically feasible alternatives are available for medical aerosol products other than MDIs, however, small use of CFCs remains in developing countries, presumably from stockpiles. Ms. Tope said that commercially available alternatives are replacing the use of CFCs and HCFCs in sterilisation and that an orderly phase-out of HCFCs in sterilisation is readily achievable to meet Montreal Protocol HCFC phase-out schedules.

16. Ms. Tope then continued the presentation by giving some key messages from the 2010 report. She said that the Montreal Protocol is working, with progress in every sector and many ozone depleting substance applications had phased out world-wide. Furthermore that it is technically and economically feasible to accelerate the phase-out of most ozone depleting substances, to reduce emissions in many applications, to collect and destroy surplus ozone depleting substances, and to phase down the use of high GWP HFCs in mobile air conditioning where ozone depleting substances have already been phased out. She mentioned that some metered-dose inhalers and laboratory and analytical uses still depend on new production of ozone depleting substances under essential use exemptions and that some fire protection applications depend on banked halons. She also mentioned that refrigeration and air conditioning servicing depends on banked CFCs, and banked and newly produced HCFCs and that some minor uses depend on a variety of ozone depleting substances.

17. Ms. Tope noted that there is no obligation or incentive under the Montreal Protocol to limit methyl bromide quarantine and pre-shipment uses or emissions. Nevertheless, she said, some Parties have entirely phased out QPS uses of methyl bromide and others are committed to phase-out in the near future. She stressed that the adoption of technologies in Article 5 countries for remaining soil and commodity uses before 2015 will help guide successful phase-out of remaining uses. Ms. Tope stated that technology is available for Article 5 Parties to “leapfrog” HFCs in some applications, which would avoid a second transition out of HFCs and complications of an inventory of HFC equipment requiring servicing. She stressed that the same technology is available for non-Article 5 Parties to make the transition away from high-GWP HFCs in a new transition. On destruction, she said that the opportunity to destroy unwanted ozone depleting substances used as refrigerants is leaking away as equipment reaches end-of-life and those substances are discharged and that the co-benefits of ozone and climate protection from collecting and destroying those substances likely exceed the costs. It would not be profitable without payment for the environmental benefit itself, but it would be more profitable if enterprises were paid for the contribution to climate and ozone protection. Ms. Tope concluded the TEAP presentation by saying that economic incentives and infrastructure are not available in most Article 5 and non-Article 5 countries, and that it is counter-productive to compel collection and destruction without incentives, because owners may discharge ozone depleting substances that would otherwise be available for paid destruction.

[13] The summaries in the present annex appear as submitted by the presenters, without formal editing.