Annex II: Summaries of presentations by members of the assessment panels and technical options committees
A. Presentation by members of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel on updated and new information on alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (decision XXVII/4)
Ms. Bella Maranion, on behalf of the task force established by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel in response to decision XXVII/4 and the task force co-chairs Mr. Lambert Kuijpers and Mr. Roberto Peixoto, along with and Mr. Fabio Polonara, Mr. Ashley Woodcock and Ms. Helen Tope, members of the task force, gave a presentation on the updated report on alternatives to
ozone-depleting substances called for in paragraph 1 of decision XXVII/4. Ms. Maranion started the presentation by briefly reviewing the decision, which requested the Panel to prepare a report that would update and provide new information on alternatives to ozone-depleting substance based on guidance and criteria set out in decision XXVI/9. She said that the members of the task force were the same as those that had prepared the report for the Open-ended Working Group at its thirty-eighth meeting as called for by decision XXVII/4. She expressed appreciation for the efforts of the task force members in the preparation of the update report and discussed the three reports prepared by the task force in response to the decision. The first report, submitted to the Open-ended Working Group at its thirty-seventh meeting, had focused on the refrigeration and air‑conditioning (R/AC) sector, including updates on alternatives in that sector based on those listed in the Panel’s September 2015 decision XXVI/9 task force report. It had also provided information on programmes for testing alternative refrigerants under high ambient temperature (HAT) conditions and extended the mitigation scenarios to 2050. The second task force report had provided further updates to the R/AC sector information based on informal discussions held at the thirty-seventh meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. It also responded to other parts of decision XXVII/4, including by providing information on alternatives for refrigeration systems in fishing vessels and updating the information on HAT refrigerant testing programmes and the scenarios assumptions. For the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties, the task force prepared the updated report taking into account the discussions during the thirty-eighth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. Based on those discussions, she outlined the specific topics that were addressed in the current report, which included responding to comments on the HAT exemption methodology; responding to comments on scenarios by providing further information related to HFC production; providing updated tables for total new manufacturing and servicing demand; and providing new and updated information on the availability of alternatives for foam blowing,
metered-dose inhalers and aerosols.
Mr. Polonara then presented updates for the R/AC sector. He noted that the information on the refrigerants and blends in the updated report remained the same as in the report for the thirty-eighth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. The updated report also included additional information about two organizations important to international refrigeration standards: the International
Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He explained that both organizations developed standards that included requirements for refrigerant safety (definitions and charge limits) and maintenance procedures (safe practices, avoiding leaks of refrigerants). Working groups, subcommittees of the technical committee of IEC and ISO, drafted the text of standards related to refrigeration systems safety. In the case of widely-recognized national standards (e.g., ASHRAE, UL and SAE from the United States), there were efforts to harmonize them with international standards as appropriate. There was a strong focus on enabling climate-friendly refrigerants in both international standards processes. ISO/TC86/SC1 was re-evaluating the charge limits for flammable refrigerants. The focus to date had been on the A2L safety class (e.g., lower flammability refrigerants) but there was an increasing focus on the A2 and A3 safety classes
(e.g., HFC-152a, hydrocarbons). IEC/TC61 was considering display cabinets to allow for larger charges of flammable refrigerants; for A2L and A3 refrigerants, that evaluation had started in 2015 with the aim of producing a new standard by 2018. It also considered domestic and commercial air‑conditioning and heat pumps to allow for larger charges of flammable refrigerants; for A2L refrigerants, the evaluation had started in 2011 and a new standard was projected to be available by 2018 or 2019; for A3 refrigerants, the evaluation had started in 2015 and a new standard was expected to be ready by 2021.
Mr. Polonara then discussed the limited review of the preliminary proposal to define HAT countries that had been discussed by parties at the thirty-seventh meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. The task force had reviewed information provided on that proposal, using a database providing temperature measurements in many countries (i.e., weather stations) in the world. The HAT criterion was an average of at least two months per year (over 10 consecutive years) of a peak monthly average temperature above 35°C. He noted that in this possible approach, varying parameters might result in certain changes; the task force had made no further technical assessment, however, as the issue was still being discussed by the parties. Mr. Polonara then noted that the scenarios of the updated report remained the same as in the report for the thirty-seventh meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. The updated report, however, also provided additional information on the production of various HFCs, a comparison of estimated production with the global calculated demand and updated annex tables for total new manufacturing and servicing demand.
Mr. Ashley Woodcock presented information on a new chapter in the updated report on foams. He noted that the information on new blowing agents remained the same as in the 2014 report prepared by the Panel task force in response to decision XXV/5. Hydrocarbons remained the major alternative for many foam sectors in large or medium-sized enterprises where local regulations permitted their use. Oxygenated hydrocarbons such as methyl formate and methylal were generally seen as less flammable than hydrocarbons and were used as alternatives to hydrocarbons, depending on local codes. Hydrofluoroolefins and Hydrochlorofluoroolefins might be used in blends to balance cost and performance (although developments were still ongoing) and were becoming increasingly available commercially, with additional production capacity under construction. For the foams business-as-usual (BAU) and mitigation scenarios, he noted that the calculation of the BAU with regulations scenario assumed entry into force of two final regulations: the European Union’s fluorinated gas regulation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (2015). He explained a figure showing decreasing BAU HFC demand for foam blowing agents in non-Article 5 parties and increasing demand in Article 5 parties over the period 2006-2050.
Ms. Helen Tope presented information on a new chapter in the updated report on metered-dose inhalers and aerosols, which included non-metered-dose-inhaler medical, consumer and technical aerosols. Metered-dose inhalers for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease used approximately 10,000 tonnes per year of HFC-134a and HFC-227ea. A BAU scenario estimated total cumulative HFC demand of 990 Mt CO2-eq (~30 Mt CO2-eq./year). She noted that both HFC
metered-dose inhaler and dry powder metered-dose inhaler and dry-powder inhaler alternatives were available for all key classes of drugs used in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Completely avoiding HFC metered-dose inhalers was not yet feasible, however, because there were economic impediments to switching to multi-dose dry-powder inhalers for salbutamol and because a minority of patients could not use available alternatives. Regarding aerosols, she estimated global HFC demand for aerosols at 44 kilotonnes in 2015, with about 15 kilotonnes of HFC-134a and 29 kilotonnes of HFC-152a. A BAU scenario for global HFC demand (HFC-134a and HFC-152a) for aerosols for the period 2015–2050 estimated total cumulative HFC demand at 740 Mt CO-eq.
(~20 Mt CO2-eq./year). She said that relatively low-GWP options and not-in-kind alternatives, where suited for the purpose, were available for HFC propellants and solvents, although their adoption might not always be feasible in some markets or for some products.
B. Presentation by members of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel on an assessment of the climate benefits and financial implications for the Multilateral Fund of the HFC phase‑down schedules in the amendment proposals (decision EX.III/1)
Ms. Bella Maranion and Mr. Lambert Kuijpers, co-chairs of the working group established by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel in response to decision Ex.III/1, presented information on the report prepared by the working group.
Mr. Kuijpers started the presentation with a review of decision Ex.III/1 decision, by which the Meeting of the Parties had requested the Panel to “prepare a report for consideration by the
twenty-eighth Meeting of the Parties containing an assessment of the climate benefits, and the financial implications for the Multilateral Fund, of the schedules for phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) contained in the amendment proposals as discussed by the Parties at the thirty-eighth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group and the Third Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties.” To respond to the decision, the Panel formed a working group of eight panel members. The Panel’s response to the decision was carefully considered, taking into account the need to define key terms, the challenge of understanding the context of the decision given that many of the sessions at which parties had discussed the proposed HFC amendments had been closed informal discussions and that the Panel had had only six weeks to complete its analysis and deliver a final report to facilitate discussions at the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties. The objectives of the report were to provide a clear definition of terms, to build on the accepted methodology used by the Panel for the business-as-usual (BAU) and mitigation scenarios and to provide an initial assessment of the potential benefits and costs of the amendment proposals.
Mr. Kuijpers then described the key terms in decision Ex.III/1. “Climate benefit” was understood as a reduction in HFC consumption below that of a BAU scenario integrated over a specified period, which was a direct, simplified climate impact metrics method based on HFC consumption reductions. That was consistent with the Panel’s approach to mitigation scenarios in previous reports. He mentioned that achieved reductions were from HFC BAU consumption as a result of future implementation of mitigation measures, i.e., following the schedules contained in the HFC amendment proposals. The reductions were calculated from the years the controls started up to the year 2050. He noted that in the report “consumption” was used interchangeably with “demand” rather than as the term was defined under the Montreal Protocol. He said that “financial implications for the Multilateral Fund” meant costs to the Multilateral Fund for Article 5 party implementation of control schedules following the schedules for HFC phase-down in the amendment proposals. Those costs were calculated based on the current Multilateral Fund guidelines for costs, including stage II of the HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs). The “amendment proposals as discussed by parties” were the amendment proposal by Canada, Mexico and the United States of America (with additional text submitted in 2016) (referred to as “North America”); the amendment proposal by India; the amendment proposal by the European Union and its member States (referred to as “EU”); and the amendment proposal by Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Philippines, Samoa and Solomon Islands (referred to as “Island states”). For the additional proposals (providing only baseline and freeze dates) that resulted from the HFC contact group discussions at the thirty-eighth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group, the Panel had provided a limited analysis of potential climate benefits.
Switching to the starting point for the study, Mr. Kuijpers said that the report updated estimates for global HFC production and consumption in 2015 to establish whether there was good agreement and a sound basis for further analysis. The sources for global production information were public data, presentations and confidential information. Consumption data reported by some parties (i.e., the United States and the European Union) had been extrapolated to produce global estimates
(2010–2014); furthermore, bottom-up estimates of demand by sector and subsector as the Panel had made in previous reports were used for the period after 2015. The 2015 estimates for HFC global production and consumption showed good agreement. The HFC BAU scenarios in the Ex.III/1 report included the R/AC, foams, metered-dose inhaler and aerosols and fire protection sectors. The HFCs considered in the report were HFC-32, HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-143a, HFC-152a, HFC-227ea, HFC-245fa and HFC-365mfc. The non-Article 5 party HFC BAU scenario took into account the final Fluorinated-gas regulation in the European Union, the July 2015 Significant New Alternatives Policy in the United States and certain reported HFC consumption by non-Article 5 parties up to 2014. The Article party 5 HFC BAU did not consider any HFC regulations. The HFC BAU for R/AC included manufacturing and servicing components. An important issue was that total HFC manufacturing demand was determined by the amount of equipment that was manufactured in the conversion from HCFCs, which was only applied to Article 5 parties, plus the continuing growth of new HFC equipment. For R/AC, the HFCs considered were HFC-32, HFC-125, HFC‑134a and HFC-143a. It was necessary to take into account that, with 12–20 year R/AC equipment lifetimes, R/AC servicing amounts would be the same or larger than the amounts needed for manufacturing. He presented a figure showing the large percentage share of the R/AC sector in both the non-Article 5 party and Article 5 party total demand.
On climate benefits, Mr. Kuijpers said that the Panel had considered “climate benefit” to be a reduction in HFC consumption below that of a BAU scenario over the period from the control start year until 2050, which was consistent with the Panel’s approach in previous reports. The year 2050 had been chosen because it was consistent with the end-year requested by the parties for the scenarios in the Panel’s decision XXVII/4 task force report. A choice of different end years would lead to different climate benefits. He said that there were other methods of calculating “climate benefits” on the basis of estimated emissions, supported by atmospheric measurements (Velders, 2015), leading to direct global temperature impact via the radiative forcing in a given year. He showed an illustrative figure of how climate benefits for demand had been calculated.
Ms. Maranion continued the presentation with a description of how the Panel had calculated climate benefits. She listed a number of issues that had been taken into account, including historic HCFC consumption values and best estimates for the trend in future demand. HFC consumption to 2014 had been determined on the basis of available data, and consumption for 2015 had been checked against the best estimate of HFC 2015 production in order to ascertain the 2015 starting point for future BAU demand calculations. She then showed a figure which gave the BAU scenario with and without with regulations for non-Article 5 parties, together with the four control schedules for non-Article 5 parties set out in the four amendment proposals.
She noted again that the control schedules, based on certain baselines and subsequent reductions, had been compared against the BAU scenario with regulations to identify the climate benefit, i.e., the difference in demand between the two, expressed in CO2-equivalent. Where it concerned the proposals for non-Article 5 parties, the North American proposal yielded a climate benefit of 10,690 Mt CO2-eq., the European Union proposal a benefit of 11,500 Mt CO2-eq., the Indian proposal a benefit of 10,000 Mt CO2-eq., and the Island States proposal a benefit of 12,470 Mt CO2‑eq. She then showed a figure showing the BAU scenario for Article 5 parties, along with the control schedules as described in the amendment proposals. She noted that while the calculations for the European Union and Indian proposals had assumed that there would be no reduction steps after the freeze year until 2050, the proposals themselves indicated that possible reduction steps would be decided on in the future.
As to the cost calculations, she said that they encompassed manufacturing conversion costs (plus costs for production shutdown and servicing) and that costs for project preparation, institutional strengthening, capacity‑building and other factors had not been included. Where available, the current Multilateral Fund cost guidelines for HCFC conversion had been used. She then showed a table with the cost effectiveness ranges for the various sectors subsectors, including for production shutdown and servicing, that had been used in the calculations. As to the Article 5 parties, she said that the North American proposal yielded a climate benefit of 75,850 Mt CO2-eq. and costs in the range of
$3,440–5,250 million and that the European Union proposal yielded a climate benefit of 53,260 Mt CO2-eq. and costs in the range of $5,580–8,540 million. She noted that the European Union proposal had a freeze in 2019 at the average HCFC-HFC consumption for 2015–2016 and no reduction steps, which would have to be negotiated; not taking any reductions into account until 2050 was the reason that the climate benefit was relatively low and the costs high for the European Union proposal. She said that the Indian proposal yielded a climate benefit of 26,130 Mt CO2-eq. and costs in the range of $9,300–14,220 million. Also, because no reduction steps were assumed after the freeze in 2031 until a final 85 per cent reduction in 2050, the climate benefit was relatively low and the costs high. The Island States proposal yielded a climate benefit of 74,890 Mt CO2-eq. and costs in the range of $4,550–6,950 million. In closing she showed a slide with the cost ranges for the four amendment proposals for Article 5 parties and restated some key points about the report including that it provided an assessment of the potential climate benefits and costs of the four amendment proposals for the consideration of the parties and that it built on the accepted methodology used by the Panel for BAU and mitigation scenarios across the various sectors of use. She emphasized again that the cost calculations in the report consisted of manufacturing conversion costs plus the cost of production shutdown and servicing. Costs for project preparation, institutional strengthening, capacity‑building and other factors had not been included and where available, current Multilateral Fund cost guidelines for HCFC conversion had been used.
C. Presentation by members of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee on final recommendations for 2017 and 2018 critical-use exemptions and emergency uses
Mr. Ian Porter, co-chair of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee, on behalf of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel and the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee, presented an overview of the trends and outcomes for the critical-use nominations submitted in 2016 for 2017 and 2018.
In introducing the presentation, he reported that critical-use requests for methyl bromide from
non-Article 5 parties had fallen from 146 nominations for 18,700 t in 2005 to two nominations for 34 t in 2018. He then showed the trends in Article 5 parties since 2015, saying that the total nominated amounts had fallen from 530 t (eight nominations) to 337 tonnes (six nominations).
Total reported stocks from all parties submitting nominations in 2016 were noted at 41.8 tonnes. That was the first round in which Article 5 parties had reported stocks and one Article 5 party had not reported. He added that interpretation of the decisions complicated the reporting of stocks.
He then provided an overview of the trends in the nomination requests for critical-use exemptions, showing that the amounts of methyl bromide sought for two non-Article 5 party nominations (Canada and Australia) had been relatively constant for many years. For the Article 5 party nominations, two parties (Argentina and China) had shown a downward trend in nominations, Mexico had not sought a nomination in the current round and the nomination of South Africa was similar to its nomination for the previous year.
Co-chair Mohammed Besri then provided an overview of the final recommendations for critical-use nominations for soil fumigation submitted in 2016 for 2017/2018 use and the changes made in recommendations since the interim recommendations reported at the thirty-eighth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group.
For Australian strawberry runners in 2018, the final recommendation was reduced to 29.73 t for the uptake of a small amount (0.03t) for the treatment of substrates. After the meeting of the Open-ended Working Group, the Party had explained that although research with alternatives was yielding positive results, alternatives were not yet available for the rest of the production system.
For Canadian strawberry runners in 2017, the “unable to assess” recommendation proposed at the Open-ended Working Group meeting had changed to a full recommendation of the nominated amount of 5.261 t. The party had clarified that no chemical alternatives could be used on Prince Edward Island due to potential groundwater contamination and that substrates were uneconomical for the final stages of runner production. A new research programme had commenced, which included consideration of alternative substrate systems.
For the Argentina strawberry fruit and tomato nominations a reduction was recommended based on a lower methyl bromide dosage rate (26 to 15 g/m2) for the uptake of barrier films and a change in adoption from two years to three years. After the Open-ended Working Group meeting the party had explained that more time was needed to adopt barrier films.
For the two nominations submitted by China for open field and protected ginger, the recommendations of 74.617 t and 18.36 t proposed at the Open-ended Working Group meeting had not changed. Those nominations had been reduced (13%) for uptake of barrier films with MB over a two year period.
Ms. Pizano then presented the final recommendations for methyl bromide use in commodities and structures. For South Africa, the Committee recommended a reduced amount for the two key sectors of the nomination but accepted that the Party needed more time for uptake of the recommendations put forward to the Open-ended Working Group. For the mill nomination of 13 t, the final recommendation of 4.1 t was reduced based on a dosage rate of 20 g/m³ and a maximum of one fumigation per year. Additional time was allowed for the adoption and optimization of alternatives as a transitional measure. The final recommendation of 55.0 t for dwellings was based on a rate adjustment to conform to the Committee’s standard presumptions and included additional time for the adoption of alternatives.
The co-chairs then pointed out some highlights, including China’s indicated intent to seek no more methyl bromide critical-use exemptions after 2018; one party failing to provide an accounting framework as requested in paragraph 9 (f) of decision Ex.1/4; and only one Article 5 party providing a national management strategy as requested in paragraph 3 of decision Ex.1/4. She also stressed that there were concerns over the reporting of stocks.
In finalizing the presentation, Ms. Pizano presented an overview of two emergency use requests. Israel had informed the Ozone Secretariat in December 2015 of an emergency use of 0.5 tonnes of methyl bromide for museum artifacts. The Committee acknowledged the importance of the historic artifacts and that Israel was unable to use potential alternatives such as phosphine or sulfuryl fluoride, but nevertheless noted that modified atmospheres or humidified heated air were successfully used for controlling pests for museum artifacts and that wooden floors, ceilings and furniture could be treated with inert gases.
Jamaica informed the Secretariat in July 2016 of an emergency use of 1.5 tonnes of methyl bromide for use by a flourmill for the fumigation of stored commodities and warehouses. The Committee noted that alternatives were available for flourmills and had fully replaced methyl bromide in many countries. They included heat, phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride and others, within an integrated pest management approach.
Ms. Pizano finalized the presentation by stressing the importance of parties submitting critical-use nominations in 2017 fully observing the timelines specified in the workplan included in the final report.
D. Presentation by members of the Scientific Assessment Panel and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s Medical and Chemicals Technical Options Committee on analysis of the discrepancies between observed atmospheric concentrations of and reported data on carbon tetrachloride (decision XXVII/7)
Mr. Paul A. Newman, co-chair of the Scientific Assessment Panel, and Ms. Helen Tope co-chair of the Medical-Chemicals Technical Options Committee on behalf of the co-chairs of the Scientific Assessment Panel and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, gave a presentation on the report on carbon tetrachloride budget discrepancies prepared in response to decision XXVII/7. By that decision Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Parties had requested the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel and the Scientific Assessment Panel “to continue their analysis of the discrepancies between observed atmospheric concentrations and reported data on carbon tetrachloride and to report and provide an update on their findings to the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties.”
Mr. Newman initially described the key findings of the report entitled “Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate: Report on the Mystery of Carbon Tetrachloride. ”
(See: http://www.sparc-climate.org/publications/sparc-reports/sparc-report-no7/ The
Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC) project.)
Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC) is a core project of the World Climate Research Programme. Under the auspices of SPARC, a workshop was held in Dübendorf, Switzerland, from 4 to 6 October 2015 to examine the carbon tetrachloride budget discrepancy that had been reported on in the Scientific Assessment Panel’s assessment reports, most recently in the “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014”.
The key findings included new estimates of emissions of carbon tetrachloride. In particular, Mr. Newman highlighted four emission pathways for carbon tetrachloride:
(a) Fugitive: 2 Gg yr-1, from UNEP Reports;
(b) Unreported non-feedstock: 13 Gg yr-;1
(c) Unreported inadvertent emissions;
(d) Legacy: combined C. & D. ~10 Gg yr-.1
The four pathways had a total emissions of 20±5 Gg yr-1. Only pathway A could be estimated from Article 7 reports.
He also highlighted observations from the atmosphere, oceans and soils, along with modelling tools for estimating top-down emissions. A new SPARC (2016) 33-year total lifetime lowered the observations-based top-down emissions estimate to about 40 kt y-1. In addition, a second technique used the persistent carbon tetrachloride CTC difference between the northern and southern hemispheres to estimate an emissions of 30 kt y-1. The combination of the two observation-based estimates yielded a top-down emissions estimate of 35 kt yr-1.
He pointed out that the difference between the top-down estimate of 35±16 kt y-1 and the industrial bottom-up emissions estimates of 20±5 kt y-1 was about 15 kt y-1, which was greatly reduced from the 54 kt y-1 discrepancy reported by the World Meteorological Organization in 2014. While the SPARC (2016) bottom-up value was still less than its top-down value, the SPARC estimates reconciled the carbon tetrachloride budget discrepancy when considered at the edges of their uncertainties.
Ms. Tope discussed the joint of the Scientific Assessment Panel and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel regarding the carbon tetrachloride discrepancy. Previous assessments had omitted some emissions sources from bottom-up emissions estimates Article 7 data reports were therefore not adequate on their own for deriving bottom-up global carbon tetrachloride emissions estimates. Further scientific research was needed to tighten observations-derived top-down emissions estimates. Finally, there was a continuing need to develop improved methodologies for estimating bottom-up carbon tetrachlorideCl4 emissions.
Ms. Tope concluded the presentation by presenting the recommendations of the Scientific Assessment Panel and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel for consideration by the Parties. First, a joint working group of the two panels could be established for estimating emissions of carbon tetrachloride in support of their quadrennial assessments. Second, to address remaining questions, a joint workshop of the two panels could be held in coordination with the Ozone Secretariat in order to further evaluate the emissions pathways outlined in the SPARC report. The workshop could also be tasked with developing improved methodologies for estimating bottom-up carbon tetrachloride emissions. Finally, the SPARC report included a “Research Direction Suggestions” section. Parties might wish to request the Ozone Secretariat to forward it to the Vienna Convention’s Ozone Research Managers for consideration and evaluation for their next report.
E. Presentations during the high-level segment by members of the assessment panels on progress in the panels’ work and emerging issues
1. Scientific Assessment Panel
The Co-Chairs of the Scientific Assessment Panel, Mr. Bonfils Safari, Mr. David W. Fahey, Mr. Paul A. Newman and Mr. John A. Pyle, presented the plan and schedule for the 2018 scientific assessment of ozone depletion and the current science and emerging science issues that would be addressed in the assessment.
The terms of reference for the assessment had been adopted by the Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Parties in Dubai in November 2015 (decision XXVII/6, para. 7). The terms of reference noted the continued need for scientific knowledge of the state of the ozone layer and the depletion attributable to the remaining potential emissions of ozone-depleting substances. Assessment topics would include those addressed in previous assessments: the abundances of ozone-depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), changes in global and polar ozone amounts, the relationship between climate change and stratospheric ozone and the policy implications of Montreal Protocol decisions. In addition, several important emerging scientific issues would be included as assessment topics:
(a) New evidence for recovery of the global ozone layer: new published research that suggested that the Antarctic ozone hole was improving due to the reduction of ozone-depleting substances;
(b) Global ozone projections in the twenty-first century: the evolution of global ozone in the second half of the century would depend largely on changes in the abundances of greenhouse gases. In some scenarios, atmospheric models showed that ozone would recover to 1980 levels by mid-century but might overshoot 1980 levels in later decades (i.e., super recovery) and reduce ultraviolet radiation exposure of humans and ecosystems. The Scientific Assessment Panel would work closely with the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel to evaluate the resulting effects, especially in the northern hemisphere;
(c) An update of the carbon tetrachloride budget, of which the 2016 report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel and the Scientific Assessment Panel provided a new evaluation;
(d) Evaluation of new atmospheric observations and their interpretation concerning principal ozone-depleting substance and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) abundances and their budgets. Of special interest is a re-evaluation of the methyl bromide budget in cooperation with the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel;
(e) New projections of HFC emissions and the climate implications of HFC phase-down proposals. HFC emissions are undergoing change due to national regulations and technical changes in HFC use sectors;
(f) Changes in stratospheric circulation. Systematic changes in winds in the stratosphere have been observed that could influence ozone and other trace gas amounts in the stratosphere.
The assessment topics reflect the continued scientific vigilance of the Scientific Assessment Panel in respect of the many environmental and human factors that affect global ozone and the abundances of ozone-depleting substances and their substitutes.
Preparatory work had begun on planning for the 2018 assessment. In October 2016, the Scientific Assessment Panel would initiate communication with the Ozone Secretariat with details of the assessment plan and a request for nominations for authorship from the parties. Assessment chapter authors would be selected in early 2017 followed by chapter meetings. First chapter drafts would be available in the third quarter of 2017. Chapters would be finalized along with an executive summary document at a meeting in summer 2018. The executive summary would be released by September 2018 and the final report delivered to the Ozone Secretariat by the end of 2018.
2. Environmental Effects Assessment Panel
The co-chairs of the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, Ms. Janet Bornman and Mr. Nigel Paul, presented the annual update on the environmental effects of ozone depletion and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, stressing the importance of interactive effects of a range of co-occurring environmental conditions that modified responses.
Ms. Bornman noted that the different greenhouse gas emission scenarios projected different trends in UV radiation, which in turn would result in different effects on human health and natural and agricultural ecosystems. Exposure to UV radiation and increasing frequencies of, e.g., drought and temperature extremes could affect food security. That might be partially offset, however, by the selection of certain crop breeding lines to improve the UV tolerance of agricultural crops under changing conditions.
Other factors, such as changes in human behaviour associated with a warming climate, would further modify both the negative and positive effects of UV radiation. Consequently, it would become increasingly necessary to balance the risks and benefits of exposure to UV radiation so that adequate vitamin D production for human health was not compromised. Recent studies continued to show that skin cancer was increasing in most countries, although age-related behaviour and sun protection programmes modified the effects of UV radiation. In that regard, the important issue of the costs and benefits of investing in protection programmes to reduce the current economic burden of skin cancers was raised.
Co-chair Mr. Nigel Paul went on to further highlight and assess some of the new data on the modifying effects of UV exposure and climate variability on ecosystems, the troposphere and materials. UV exposure in aquatic ecosystems was strongly affected by extreme climate events such as droughts and floods. The changes in UV exposure could affect the productivity of fisheries, the degradation of contaminants and the natural solar disinfection of water-borne infections. Also, in aquatic ecosystems new models of oceanic productivity were powerful tools for quantifying the effects of future changes in stratospheric ozone on the oceans.
New understanding of how UV radiation controlled the release of carbon dioxide from dead organic matter would allow better assessment of how future changes in UV radiation would affect carbon storage by ecosystems. Ground level ozone pollution, which had adverse effects on human health and the environment, would be affected by changes in UV radiation but future trends remained difficult to quantify. UV radiation reduced the service life of materials but new technologies were being developed to counter those effects.
Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) was a breakdown product of some hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and hydrofluoroolefins.
A newly published risk assessment reinforced the conclusion that while TFA was not currently a significant risk to humans and the environment the monitoring of TFA production should continue. The use of hydrocarbons such as propane and isobutane as refrigerants was not expected to have major, large-scale effects on air quality.
3. Technology and Economic Assessment Panel
During the high-level segment of the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties, Mr. Ashley Woodcock made a presentation on behalf of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel. He said that the Panel and its technical options committees brought together the experience and expertise of 139 experts from over 30 countries. He summarized the achievements in each sector and also looked ahead.
He said that global production of foams currently exceeded 25 million tonnes per year, all of which was CFC free, and was increasing by 3 per cent per year in Article 5 parties. In Article 5 parties, almost half of foam applications using HCFCs had converted, of which 80 per cent had converted directly to a range of low-GWP blowing agents. Foams in insulation were important to energy efficiency and therefore important in mitigating climate change.
He informed parties about the historic agreement reached that week at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to control CO2 emissions from international aviation. He noted that at the same meeting a tremendous breakthrough for the Montreal Protocol with regard to halons had also occurred. ICAO had approved a requirement to replace halons in cargo bays in all new aircraft designs by 2024; from 2024, therefore, there would no longer be a need to use halons in any new designs in any fire protection application. The milestone had been achieved through more than a decade of engagement between ICAO and Montreal Protocol bodies, including especially Halon Technical Options Committee (HTOC) Co-chairs Mr. Dan Verdonik and Mr. David Catchpole. He pointed out, however, that halons would be needed for existing equipment and current aviation designs for the foreseeable future (excluding those covered by European Union retrofit requirements), which would require careful management. Many new designs continued to require high GWP HFCs, although two new low-GWP agents had been introduced recently that might be suitable for some applications.
He recognized the successful phase-out of CFCs used in metered-dose inhalers, which would be achieved in 2016 year following 30 years of concerted global action. Affordable CFC-free inhalers had been developed over the preceding 20 years and were available worldwide. Patients now had access to a large range of inhaled treatments from improved inhalers and had benefited from the industry response to the need to phase out chlorofluorocarbon-based metered-dose inhalers.
He described more successes in the chemicals sector, including the Russian Federation’s phase-out of chlorofluorocarbon solvents in aerospace applications and the decrease in ozone-depleting substance process agents. Global use of ozone-depleting substances for feedstock was still increasing, however, and laboratory and analytical uses of ozone-depleting substances continued. He pointed out the new international study providing insights on carbon tetrachloride emissions, and that further investigations are required to better understand the sources of emissions.
Almost all controlled uses of methyl bromide have been phased out and replaced successfully, and the critical-use process had evolved successfully from non-Article 5 parties to Article 5 parties. Mr. Woodcock indicated, however, that global atmospheric measurements showed that about 30,000 t of methyl bromide were still emitted annually. Of that amount, 11,000 t was for quarantine and pre-shipment uses, for up to 40 per cent of which there might be alternatives. Around half of current methyl bromide emissions (around 15,000 t) could be accounted for. Addressing those issues would have a positive impact on the ozone layer.
In refrigeration and air-conditioning (R/AC), Mr. Woodcock showed how refrigerants had evolved over the previous two centuries and that while volumes used had increased there had been a continuous improvement in energy efficiency and a reduction in total environmental impact per unit. CFCs had been completely phased out, and HCFC phase-out was almost complete in non‑Article 5 parties and decreasing in Article 5 parties. Low-GWP solutions were available for many applications and alternatives were being tested under high-ambient-temperature conditions. He said that R/AC was a rapidly evolving technology environment, with industries actively looking for best solutions. A more comprehensive approach balancing energy efficiency, flammability and toxicity in choosing alternatives would be needed, however.
Mr. Woodcock introduced decision XXVII/6 , by which the Meeting of the Parties mandated the panels to prepare the 2018 assessment reports.
The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, he said, remained ready to respond to tasks, would continue to be aligned with the current and future needs of the parties and will continue to identify emerging issues for the parties. He explained, however, that the Panel continued to be challenged by a limited pool of qualified experts from both Article 5 parties and non-Article 5 parties. He explained that the Panel experts primarily needed to have technical expertise and experience, but also the capacity to take on the workload, the ability to write and communicate in a comprehensible way, and the necessary support to take on the workload or be in a position to volunteer their time.
Mr. Woodcock explained that the Panel had worked hard to meet tight timelines in 2016 and appreciated the positive comments from Parties on its outputs. He requested that parties continue to consider the overall workload and timelines when assigning tasks to the Panel.
Mr. Woodcock finished the presentation by acknowledging Mr. Catchpole, who was stepping down from the Panel and the Halons Technical Options Committee after 26 years of dedicated service to the Montreal Protocol. The ICAO decision on halons adopted that week was a great legacy of his efforts.