Parties to the Montreal Protocol debate phase down of HFCs

Last week, the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 35) of the parties to the Montreal Protocol met to discuss all issues related to HFC management at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.

Government delegates debated possible policy objectives with a view to find an agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol. The topics discussed covered especially:

  • HFC phase-down, taking into account hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) phase-out;
  • means to address sector- and country-specific challenges;
  • strengthening existing means of implementation;
  • technology transfer, funding requirements and financial mechanism.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) received various amendments from USA, Canada, Mexico and India and a joint proposal from a delegation of African states. The EU promised to come forward with an amendment proposal by the end of April 2015.

The event was considered a noticeable step forward towards a global agreement on the phase down of ozone depleting substances. Even though no concrete commitment was obtained, and more in depth talks are still necessary, for the first time all the countries showed willingness to compromise. If parallel UN negotiations on climate change, which will take place in December in Paris, are also successful, a decision to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol will likely be possible by the end of 2016.

For more information, check the report prepared by the International Institute of Refrigeration.