Annex: Summaries of presentations by members of the assessments panels and the technical options committees
*A. Final assessment by the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee of critical-use nominations for methyl bromide
- On behalf of TEAP, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee co-chairs, Ian Porter and Marta Pizano presented an overview of the trends and outcomes for the CUN nominations submitted in 2020 for use in 2021 and 2022.
- In opening the presentation, Co-chair Mr Ian Porter reinforced the diversity of technical skills of the committee ranging from experts in all aspects of chemical and non chemical replacements to MB but also pathogen and insect control and knowledge of trade implications and bilateral arrangements for QPS uses of methyl bromide and their alternatives.
- He reminded parties that over 62,000 t of MB for controlled uses had been phased out and that, of the 18,700 tonnes of MB sought under critical use in 2005, only around 90 t was being sought in 2021 and 2022. However, there were still some important sectors using substantial stocks of MB.
- He added that despite the short term rise in the atmospheric concentration of MB from
2016-2017, recent levels show that the decline continues. He showed that around 70% of the anthropogenic MB had declined in the atmosphere and that QPS emissions and other unidentified emissions were preventing return to historic natural baseline levels.
- An overview of the stock amounts reported by four parties at the end of 2019 (~ 50 t) was presented, indicating that stocks are only presented from parties requesting CUNs. Therefore, total A5 stocks are unknown as they are not required to be reported from all parties. Reporting from South Africa was difficult as the party had difficulty in getting accurate information from industry and stocks of between 19 and 50 tonnes were possible. CUE recommendations have not been adjusted to account for stocks as this is done by the parties. Also, it was explained, that reporting under Article 7 showed that there have been higher levels of production (~3,000 t) than consumption for many years, leading to unknown levels of unreported stocks.
- Mr Porter then provided and overview of the CUNs submitted in 2020, consisting of six nominations from 4 parties. Four of these nominations were for preplant soil use of MB and two for insect control in commodities and structures. In a summary of the outcome of the final assessment by MBTOC, he then showed that parties had reduced the total amount nominated from 111.441 t in 2019 to 88.851 in this round of which 69.607 t was recommended for approval by the parties.
- Ms Marta Pizano then provided an overview of the outcome of the final assessment for CUE recommendations for all critical uses of MB (t) for 2021 and 2022.
- For the Australian strawberry runners the full amount nominated by the party of 28.98 t was recommended for 2022. The party stated that they will reduce the licensed amount to 0 t if methyl iodide (MI) is registered and available by 2022. They provided a transition plan in 2018 for
phasing-out MB which stated that if registration of MI was achieved by 2021, then that year the nomination amount will be reduced by 50% (i.e. to 14.49 t), and CUN requests will cease entirely from 2022 onwards. MBTOC accepted that in spite of ample research currently in place on alternatives, MI remains the only alternative available at present and that the party would control its use as appropriate.
- For the Canadian strawberry runners in 2021 the nomination was reduced by 6% to 5.017 tonnes to account for uptake of soilless production systems. After the OEWG, the Canadian delegation and grower held a bilateral meeting with MBTOC to review the use of soilless technologies to offset a proportion of MB use for production of a specific stage of the nursery plants (2A tips). After the OEWG, the Canadian delegation and grower held a bilateral meeting with MBTOC to review the use of soilless technologies to offset a proportion of MB use for production of a specific stage of the nursery plants (2A tips). MBTOC considered that the facilities presently being constructed by the applicant will be suitable to use soilless technologies by 2021 for a proportion of tip production.
- MBTOC recommended a reduction in the nominations from Argentina to conform with the standard presumptions for a reduced dosage rate from 26 to 15 g/m2 based on use of barrier films which improve control at lower dosage rates and reduce emissions of MB. For strawberries, the nomination was to 4.35 t and for tomatoes 6.96 t.
- Ms Pizano then indicated that the nominations from South Africa (RSA) for use in 2021 on for use of MB for pests in commodities and structures were reduced. For mills, MBTOC recommended 0.3 t, based on a reduction for allowance of only one fumigation per year at a 24 g/m3 dose rate for the three mills nominated to allow time for adoption of integrated pest management practices and sulfuryl fluoride. For houses (dwellings), MBTOC recommended 24 t of the 35 nominated based a reduction for adoption of sulfuryl fluoride over a 3yr period and heat for use on small scale infestations of termites.
- Two emergency use applications by Canada and Australia had been received under decision IX/7. Canada notified the Ozone Secretariat on 31 March 2020 that it expected to consume a quantity of MB, not exceeding 1.764 tonnes for an emergency use in 2020. Local weather conditions were unfavourable for fumigation of the full CUE amount of 5.261t in autumn 2019 and that 1.764 t was being carried forward as an emergency use in spring 2020 (April-May). Australia notified the Ozone Secretariat on 27 July 2020 that 1.671 t of MB had been approved for fumigation of rice due to unexpected consumer demand related to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, affecting supply of domestic and imported rice. This approval required the applicant to recapture and dispose of 1.3 t of the MB used. The applicant subsequently reported that it had used only 0.111 t of MB.
- In closing the presentation, Ms Pizano reminded parties of the timelines for submission of CUNs in 2021, as required under Decision XVI/6 1, bii.
B. Scientific assessment of ozone depletion 2022 by the Scientific Assessment Panel
- The Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) reported on the status of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2022 and the report on unexpected emissions of CFC-11 at the 32nd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention on 27 November 2020. The report was prepared by the SAP co-chairs: Paul A. Newman, David W. Fahey, John A. Pyle, and Bonfils Safari.
- The 2022 Assessment has now begun. Decision XXXI/2 at the 31st MOP established the terms of reference for the Assessment. The SAP co-chairs drafted an outline for the Assessment, and sent this to more than 150 scientists soliciting input on the scope and contents of the Assessment. The science community responded with over 30 pages of comments. The SAP Co-chairs have also formed a steering committee composed of Julie Arblaster (Australia), Lucy Carpenter (UK), David Fahey (USA), Jianxin Hu (China), Ken Jucks (USA), Paul A. Newman (USA), David Plummer (Canada), John Pyle (UK), and Bonfils Safari (Rwanda). The Co-chairs have also sent out a letter to the Parties via the Ozone Secretariat soliciting nominations for authors, co-authors, editors, and reviewers for the assessment. The Co-chairs have also established a detailed timeline that culminates in a finished report submitted to the Ozone Secretariat by 31 December 2022.
- The SAP Report on the unexpected increase of CFC-11 emissions is in progress. The CFC-11 Advisory group is composed of Paul Fraser (Australia), Neil Harris (UK), Jianxin Hu (China), Michelle Santee (USA), David Fahey (SAP), Paul A. Newman (SAP), John Pyle (SAP), and Bonfils Safari (SAP). The SAP has asked for a delay in delivering the report because of two papers updating global and regional CFC-11 emissions were submitted to a peer-reviewed journal in July 2020. They suggest substantial downward changes to the trends in earlier years and so are critical to the report. Anticipated publication date for these papers is approximately Jan.-Feb. 2021. Release of information on both papers is currently embargoed under the journal’s rules. The CFC-11 Report’s 2nd draft is complete, but is currently delayed in order to include the results of these two new papers updating global and regional emissions.
- The SAP also noted that the 2020 Antarctic ozone hole was the 12th most severe in the
41-year satellite record of observations and has persisted into the Antarctic spring season longer than in any previous year.
C. Update by the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel on the environmental effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, ultraviolet radiation and interactions with climate change
- The Co-chair, Janet Bornman, presented the 2020 Update Assessment on behalf of EEAP on the environmental effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and interactions with climate change in accordance with the current Terms of Reference.
- The annual EEAP Updates contribute towards the Quadrennial Assessments, providing some of the latest scientific information of relevance to the Parties. The contribution of the Montreal Protocol to environmental and societal sustainability, and mitigation of climate change was acknowledged within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Interactive effects of climate change include the projection of increases in UV radiation at low and mid latitudes in the 2nd half of the 21st century, mainly due to reduced cloud cover. Current indications of the effects of rapid climate change were shown during the 2019/2020 Antarctic heatwave resulting in rapid snow melt and increased exposure of ecosystems to UV radiation and other weather conditions. In the Arctic, increased thawing or melting of snow, ice and permafrost is also occurring, disrupting ecosystem functioning as well as releasing greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide, a major ozone depleting substance.
- Some of the potential areas of concern in which UV radiation and climate change are implicated include decreasing biodiversity, breakdown of plastics and other materials, and possible environmental and health risks of breakdown products from controlled substances, as well as implications of unexpected events, namely COVID-19.
- For human health, UV radiation can have significant negative effects, for example, in causing skin cancer and certain eye diseases, such as cataract. However, UV radiation also has benefits, most notably the production of vitamin D in the skin, which contributes to muscle and bone health, and is also associated with positive outcomes of some diseases. Updated model estimates of skin cancers and cataracts avoided in the United States due to the Montreal Protocol are substantial. However, melanoma continues to increase in several countries. UV radiation also increases photosensitivity after medication of certain oral drugs, and there is concern that these photosensitising drugs may induce skin cancer.
- There is growing concern for the rapid decrease in global biodiversity of plants and animals, where both UV radiation and climate change are contributing factors, reducing the availability and diversity of suitable habitats through changes in vegetation cover, temperature and rainfall. More direct, negative effects of UV radiation have been reported for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In the case of some fish species, these effects can include developmental abnormalities, decreases in growth and lesions in skin and eyes.
- On the issues of pollution, UV radiation is a key driver of contaminant breakdown in aquatic environments. These effects, while reducing high concentrations of the contaminants, may also lead to the generation of harmful breakdown products. UV radiation also releases carbon dioxide from certain plastics, which contributes to climate warming. An important positive effect of UV radiation is that it generates hydroxyl radicals that react with many pollutants, aiding in their removal from the troposphere (the layer of atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface). On the other hand, UV radiation also causes production of toxic pollutants in the troposphere, for example, carbon monoxide, ozone, and formaldehyde.
- EEAP continues to evaluate the potential risks of some of the breakdown products from certain ozone depleting substances. For example, trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) forms from several hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) in the atmosphere. To date, TFA and related compounds in soil and surface waters are not present in concentrations that would cause adverse effects in aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. Increased use of air conditioning systems due to rising temperatures in many parts of the world, and continued use of HFCs and HFOs, may further increase breakdown products. However, their concentrations are currently judged as low risks for ecosystems and humans. It is also expected that HFC usage and production will decrease in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which should further reduce the risk of increased concentrations of the TFA breakdown product from HFCs and HFOs.
- Lastly, a global, major unexpected event has been the corona virus, causing COVID-19. While the disinfection properties of UV radiation outdoors on the survival of virus particles deposited on certain surfaces, is significant, this inactivation has likely had a very small effect on the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, since most infections occur by air-borne transmission of the virus. In the context of the Montreal Protocol, its far-reaching, positive outcomes for life on Earth far outweigh any potential advantage for disinfection by higher amounts of solar UV radiation.
- Co-Chair Janet Bornman concluded by noting that the findings of the Assessment Update on effects on the environment and human health continue to reinforce the multiple benefits of the Montreal Protocol in reaching the targets of many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
D. Work of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, its technical options committees and task forces
- Ashley Woodcock Co-chair of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) introduced the presentation on behalf of his TEAP co-chairs Bella Maranion and Marta Pizano. He introduced the 20 voluntary members of TEAP, with 10 members from A5 parties and 10 from Non A5 parties. He thanked them all for their contributions, support and collegiality during a tough virtual year.
- He stated that TEAP is seriously missing the face-to-face interactions with Parties at the OEWG and MOP, which enable TEAP to maintain two-way communication. He looked forward to meeting face-to-face in 2021. He emphasized the strong support from the Ozone Secretariat. TEAP and its co-chairs are missing Miss Tina Birmpili, but Meg Seki and Sophia Mylona continue to keep them grounded. We sincerely thank them all.
- He stated that TEAP, TOC and Task Forces have worked almost exclusively on-line, but in spite of the difficulties, all reports were completed on time, and to consensus in 2021.
- In May TEAP published its annual Progress Report. This was followed by the Methyl Bromide Critical Use Nominations, responses, and Final Report. The Replenishment Task Force report was published in May, and then September RTF provided responses to over 200 written comments from the parties. And finally, an important Energy Efficiency Task Force Report was published in October 2021.
- Mr Woodcock then introduced the updates from the Technical Options Committees (TOCs). These updates included information from the May 2021 TEAP Progress report, which has not been presented to parties. They also include important emerging issues that the TOCs are watching in relation to the sector transitions this year. He emphasized key points from each TOC
- Foams TOC noted that transitions away from ODS and high GWP blowing agents are continuing but slowing. This is due to both the higher costs and short supply of alternative blowing agents. The lower prices of high GWP HFCs in A5 parties are an obstacle to conversion to low GWP blowing agents.
- Halons TOC noted that the future need for halons is unpredictable. Halons could run out sooner if organisations destroy rather than recycle halons. On the other hand , they could run out later if civil aviation is slow to recover from the pandemic. The HTOC has noted a new low GWP agent for total flooding fire suppression. This blend of an HCFO and fluoroketone, is an alternative to halons and high-GWP HFCs.
- The Methyl Bromide TOC (MB) has noted that approximately 84% of anthropogenically produced MB has been phased out, and that this has contributed around 33% of the present ozone layer recovery. Some parties are still be using MB sourced from stocks for controlled uses, without requesting a CUN, and this makes it difficult to assess the adoption of alternatives.
- MBTOC noted that the dominant remaining use of Methyl Bromide is the 10,000t used annually for Quarantine Pre-shipment (QPS). The reduction of emissions from QPS would achieve the greatest short-term impact on ozone layer recovery. MBTOC has assessed that there are alternatives for about one third of current QPS uses – that is about 3500 tonnes of Methyl Bromide use that is avoidable by using alternatives. Parties could also consider requesting an analysis of the feasibility and economics of recapture/recycling of Methyl Bromide to allow continued Methyl Bromide for those uses of QPS where it remains essential, but with minimised emissions.
- The MCTOC has a very wide range of responsibilities so he focused on three points.
- Two pharmaceutical companies have announced the early development of MDI formulations with new lower GWP propellants.
- He outlined two areas of concern.
(a) The first is that atmospheric-derived emissions of CFC-113/113a are higher than expected. An understanding of production and use of CFC-113 and 113a as a feedstock or intermediate, would provide greater clarity on emissions.
(b.) The second is that global HFC-23 emissions were at their highest in 2018, especially when compared with the expected HFC-23 emissions as a by-product of HCFC-22 production. This indicates that either planned reductions in HFC-23 emissions have not been fully realised, or there may be unreported HCFC-22 production.
- The Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump TOC (RTOC) noted the significant progress with the development of new safety standards, addressing class A3, A2 and A2L refrigerants. The application of flammable refrigerants in air conditioning equipment is a topic of intense Research.
- In Article 5 parties, the production of low efficiency ACs containing HCFC-22 is declining and now below 50%. There is widespread introduction of HFC-32 in residential split units around the world. Conversion of production lines to HC-290 in China, South East Asia and South America is underway, and in India, the adoption of HC-290 split air conditioners continues to increase. Inverter technology is being increasingly used to meet strengthening Minimum Energy Performance Standards.
- Mr Woodcock noted the importance of the cold chain for safe and equitable distribution of Coronavirus vaccines around the world. The first two vaccines required very cold storage in minus 80 freezers, but later vaccines will use conventional freezers at -2 to -8 degrees Celsius.
- Mr Woodcock then moved on to describe the activities of three TEAP Task Forces:
1. Replenishment Task Force (RTF)
- Decision XXXI/1 requested the TEAP “to prepare a report for submission to MOP-32, and to submit it through OEWG-42” to enable parties to decide on the appropriate level of the 2021–2023 replenishment of the Multilateral Fund. The RTF includes members from the TEAP, its TOCs, and other outside experts. Mr Woodcock thanked the members of the RTF and especially the modellers, with a special mention for the co-chairs Bella Maranion, Suely Carvalho and Shiqui Zhang who worked literally 24/7 around the time zones.
- TEAP extends its sincere appreciation to the Multilateral Fund Secretariat for its support in ensuring the accuracy of its data, and relevant decisions of the Executive Committee.
- The RTF attended the 84th Meeting of the Executive Committee in December of 2019 to hold informal consultations, and then returned to Montreal for a face-to-face RTF meeting in January 2020 at the MLFS offices. The RTF then worked virtually to complete its May 2020 report. It presented its initial report and responded to questions in three online sessions in July 2020 across global time zones. Subsequently the RTF responded to 200 written questions from parties. It is continuing to work to update its database to incorporate any corrections or changes in preparation for the planned March 2021 meeting of parties in Montreal. If the March OEWG meeting in Montreal is held as planned, then the RTF will consider updates in developing its supplementary report to parties.
2. Energy Efficiency
- Decision 31/7 requested TEAP to “report on new developments with respect to best practices, availability, accessibility and cost of energy-efficient technologies in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat-pump sectors as regards the implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol”. TEAP established its 3rd successive Energy Efficiency Task Force (EETF). This deliberately had a greater that 60% A5 membership and strong regional representation to ensure that we had a more complete picture in Article 5 parties.
- Mr Woodcock thanked his co-chairs, Helene Rochat and Roberto Peixoto, the chapter lead authors Omar Abdelaziz, Bassam Elassaad, Gabby Dreyfus and Nihar Shah and all the EETF members.
- All the work was carried out on-line and published in October 2020. https://ozone.unep.org/sites/default/files/assessment_panels/TEAP_dec-XXXI-7-TFEE-report-september2020.pdf Party discussion will be deferred by up to a year, so if significant new information becomes available in 2021, the EETF intends to provide an update.
- Mr Woodcock encouraged parties to read the 2 pages of key messages and focused on “the importance of a combined strategy to improve energy efficiency of cooling equipment while phasing down HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is increasingly being recognized as one of the biggest climate mitigation opportunities available today”.
- He described the opportunity for synergy and momentum with the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-26) to the UNFCCC in November 2021, which is specifically focusing on energy efficiency opportunities within the Kigali Amendment.
- Decision 31/3 requested TEAP to provide an update report to Decision 30/3 on unexpected emissions of CFC-11. Mr Woodcock noted that during 2020, the task force has been meeting online. A Science Symposium has been held online involving the TEAP, SAP and leading global experts. A co-chair of the CFC-11 task force is also participating on the SAP report being prepared to respond to decision 30/3.
- To align with the latest science findings and publication of the SAP report, the TEAP Task Force Report will be published in 2021.
- Mr Woodcock then provided an update on progress with the 2022 Assessment Reports.
- MOP-31 Decision XXXI/2 had established the Terms of Reference for the Panels for the quadrennial assessments. He stated that the TEAP and its TOCS have completed advanced structuring, organization, and the TOCs have begun their work. TEAP is coordinating with SAP and EEAP on crossover issues for the assessments, which will then form the basis for the Synthesis Report.
- In concluding, Mr Woodcock predicted that 2021 would not be quiet year! He listed the upcoming tasks in 2021 which already include the TEAP RTF Supplementary Report, TEAP CFC-11 TF Report, TEAP EETF Update Report, TEAP Progress Report, Methyl Bromide CUN Interim/Final Recommendations and the continuing preparatory work for the 2020 Assessment and Synthesis Reports.
* The summaries are presented as received, without formal editing.