34th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol
3 November 2022
High-level Roundtable Discussion:
At the High-level Roundtable which took place on 3 November 2022 during the high-level segment of the 34th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, the panellists discussed the challenges of the Kigali Amendment implementation and its potential impact on climate, with reference to the legacy of the Montreal Protocol.
The discussion was moderated by Dr Mona Nemer, Chief Science Adviser to Canada’s Prime Minister, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Cabinet. The panellists were Kerryne James, Minister for Climate Resilience, Environment, and Renewable Energy, Grenada; Dr Abdulla Naseer, Minister of State for Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Maldives; Jan Dusík, Deputy Minister for Climate Protection, Czechia; Dr Cécile Siewe, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Klaus Peter Schmid Spilker, President of the Chilean Chamber of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning; Dr Dawda Badgie, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gambia; and Kylie Farrelley, General Manager of Refrigerant Reclaim Australia.
Summary of the key ideas from the roundtable:
- It is important to effectively communicate what the Montreal Protocol has achieved in the last 35 years and will potentially achieve with the Kigali Amendment implementation to avoid an estimated 0.5 to 1°C of warming.
- Increasing the Protocol’s profile and raising awareness of its potential can lead to enhanced synergies with other multilateral agreements and programmes, generate more resources for accelerating the development of alternative technologies, and help countries to go above the compliance with the Kigali Amendment and achieve greater impact.
- The successful partnerships created under the Montreal Protocol across all the stakeholders allow a holistic perspective and approach in implementation to realize the Protocol’s multiple benefits. The continuation of public-private cooperation under the Kigali Amendment is essential.
- Taking a holistic perspective helps integrate the implementation frameworks and institutions of the Montreal Protocol into the efforts to combat climate change, in particular at the national level, for better coordination, efficient use of resources and greater impact.
- It is important to share success stories for replication and scaling of effective practices in implementing the Kigali Amendment and achieving its potential double benefit for ozone and climate.
- The European Green Deal, which included instruments aimed at reducing fluorinated greenhouse gases, including HFCs, across the European Union can be one such success story. It shows that complex issues require complex solutions. The energy efficiency directive within the European Green Deal provided for assessments and planning for regional, national, and local heating and cooling and the promotion of better heating and cooling efficiency, including the accelerated replacement of old and inefficient systems, phasing out of fossil fuel systems overall and an increase in the use of renewable energy in heating and cooling.
- Another story comes from Grenada, where the national cooling action plan has helped stakeholders to develop a set of integrated measures to address challenges related to the cooling sector and accelerate its transition. The potential emission reduction from the HFC phase-down and energy efficiency in the cooling sector have also been included in the second update of the country’s nationally determined contribution.
- Key to the realization of the Kigali Amendment’s potential is reliance on science; assistance for Article 5 parties through adequate, timely and predictable funding for the transition to HFC alternatives, capacity-building, enabling projects and institutional strengthening activities; support for regional ozone networks; refrigerant recovery, reclamation, and disposal.
- The challenges in implementing the Kigali Amendment include access to alternative technologies, training for service sector technicians; technical capacity-building and equipment for customs officials to enable control of a variety of gases; effective implementation of a quota and licensing system; addressing of risks associated with safe handling of hydrocarbons; strengthening of refrigerant recovery and recycling; development of standards for the certification of refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians. Additional funding is needed for small island developing states and other low-volume consuming countries that cannot benefit from economies of scale.
- While the end-of-life destruction of refrigerants is not a compliance issue under the Protocol, more attention and support to the proper recovery and disposal of banks of controlled substances in equipment and equipment themselves could deliver substantial climate benefits.
- However, reclamation could, unwantedly, extend the life of old, inefficient equipment when leakage of controlled substances into the atmosphere can also become significant. Reclamation can have positive or negative impact and therefore must be considered carefully in policymaking.
- The development of national cooling action plans is complex but provides an excellent opportunity to engage all stakeholders to gain a holistic perspective to cooling needs, develop the relevant activities together and raise awareness of the goals and ways to achieve them. A policy is more effective when all stakeholders have been involved in its design.
- National cooling action plans also include measures such as passive cooling, energy efficiency and green procurement in addition to core measures traditionally used for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, for example, enhancement of skills of refrigeration and air conditioning service technicians, and upgrade of servicing practices.
- The Montreal Protocol’s success would not have been possible without the private sector. The Montreal Protocol provided a vision and clear signals to the relevant industries as to how those industries needed to develop, while allowing them sufficient time to transition to alternative substances and technologies.
- Cooling as a service is a new business opportunity where companies make investment in the energy-efficient cooling equipment for the clients and are paid for the service and also through the energy savings generated.
- In the warming world, cooling is becoming essential. It needs therefore to use zero-ozone depleting and low-global warming refrigerants and be efficient, accessible and affordable as an effective climate adaption solution.