From 14 to 16 July 2020, parties and other stakeholders to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer convened to discuss the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol for the triennium 2021–2023. The discussion focused on the report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) Replenishment Task Force. The sessions of the forty-second Open-ended Working Group took place online over three days and three different time zones to accommodate all parties. More than 125 parties participated in the meeting, while the number of party delegates was over 250. More than 150 observers from science, industry and NGOs also participated.
The Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme, Tina Birmpili, opened the sessions acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic “had hit the world hard” but that it was important to forge ahead, noting that the Protocol and its Amendments “have a clear and obvious role to play in ensuring a healthy environment for all of humanity, now and in a post-COVID era.”
The TEAP Task Force presented the main findings of the funding study including outlining the methodologies and scenarios used for transitioning to low- or zero-global-warming-potential alternatives to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and phasing down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Funding estimates for activities to encourage the use of energy-efficient and safe alternatives during the transition were also presented.
In calculating the replenishment needs for 2021-2023, the report estimated required funding for several activities needed to assist Article 5 countries to achieve and maintain compliance with the Protocol’s control measures; and support Article 5 parties to comply with the Kigali Amendment on HFCs. Such funding pertained to HCFC and HFC activities, as well as institutional strengthening. The report also considered allocation of resources for the special needs of those countries whose consumption of ozone-depleting substances is classified as low-volume-consuming and very-low-consuming.
Parties were able to submit further questions to the Task Force during the online sessions and have until 1 August to submit any additional comments and questions via the online forum. These will be compiled by the Co-Chairs and addressed in a note to be prepared by the TEAP. The collated document will serve as the basis for further discussions by the parties for when they meet face-to-face. Based on those discussions and any additional information the parties will request the TEAP to explore, they will make their decision on the replenishment amount.
On the fringes, six side events took place online hosted by non-government organizations, the European Commission and other stakeholders, each attracting between 25-80 participants.
Prior to the OEWG42, the sixty-fourth meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-Compliance Procedure for the Montreal Protocol also took place online in three two-hour sessions held on 7, 8 and 9 July 2020. The Committee’s online sessions were attended by all its members representing ten parties to the Montreal Protocol, as well as observers (Multilateral Fund, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO and World Bank). The Committee considered a number of issues including the ongoing monitoring and new non-compliance cases and adopted the respective recommendations.