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Outcomes of 35th meeting of the parties on the Montreal Protocol

The 35th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 35) was held from 23-27 October at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting discussed Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as a multilateral environmental agreement to protect the Earth and its ozone layer.

In the meeting it was discussed how to phase out ozone depleting substances (ODS) and chemicals and ways of minimizing their impact on the environment. The meeting focused on issues related to the implementation of the protocol. Some key discussion points:

  • Adoption of the Kigali Amendment, the implementation of which begins in 2024. This provided a platform for parties to discuss opportunities to collaborate with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and overcome the challenges related to the amendment.
  • MOP 35 designated nearly 1 billion USD to the Multilateral Fund (MLF) to support developing countries for implementing the protocol.
  • The Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) stated that stratospheric ozone recovery depends on future concentrations of both ODS and GHGs. They reiterated that the decline in ODS emissions due to compliance with the protocol avoids global warming of approximately 0.5–1°C by mid-century.
  • The potential effects of geoengineering were examined by the SAP and the panel identified potential setbacks for ozone recovery.
  • The delegates made limited headway in addressing the request by developing countries for more time and money to adopt energy-efficient technologies, pushing the discussion to 2024.

The benefits of energy-efficient technology are widely acknowledged, however, the practicality of transition to such technology is not always simple. For instance, the question of funding arises, particularly in less developed economies with less resources to dedicate to the transition. Then in terms of upgrading equipment that is still operational, phasing out is not always energy efficient and becomes e-waste resulting in a new environmental challenge.

However, on a positive note, the successful replenishment of the MLF builds confidence with participants and the public as the Protocol dedicates realistic resources to reducing GHGs, something the Paris Agreement is struggling to achieve. This narrower scope of the Protocol compared to the Paris Agreement allows for simpler implementation and management for all parties, also allowing internationally agreed-upon benchmarks and timelines to be adhered to.

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