State Department Hosts Montreal Protocol Stakeholders Meeting

June 22, 2012
HALON ALTERNATIVES RESEARCH CORPORATION
TO:  MEMBERS
FROM:  TOM CORTINA

SUBJECT:  MONTREAL PROTOCOL STAKEHOLDERS MEETING
___________________________________________________________________

On June 20, the State Department and EPA held a Montreal Protocol stakeholders meeting to discuss with industry key issues for the Open-end Working Group (OEWG) meeting that will be held in Bangkok from July 23-27.  Below are some highlights that may be of interest to HARC members.

HFC Amendments

The proposed amendments to add HFCs to the Montreal Protocol and slowly phase down their production were discussed.  The US is continuing diplomatic outreach and there is increasing support for the amendments, but opposition is still expected from developing countries such as India and China.  A key issue will be whether these countries allow the formation of a formal contact group to discuss the proposed amendments, which they have blocked the last three years.  EPA is preparing a beefed-up benefits analysis on the HFC phase down for the OEWG and may prepare a short (50-page) report on technology in the future.

The Bangkok Technology Conference will be held July 21-22, before the OEWG meeting, and will focus on alternatives to high-GWP HFCs for refrigeration, air conditioning, and foam.  The conference is being co-sponsored by the Alliance, US government, UNEP, and UNDP.

There was a side-event at the Rio +20 Earth Summit on the new Climate  and Clean Air Coalition.  Language on HFCs is being considered as part of the Rio +20 draft text, but State was not optimistic that it would make it into the final document (the following language on HFCs was included in the final Rio +20 text – We recognize that the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances is resulting in a rapid increase in the use and release of high global-warming potential hydrofluorocarbons to the environment. We support a gradual phase-down in the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons).

TEAP Report on Decision XXIII/9

The TEAP report on low-GWP alternatives to HCFCs was discussed.  EPA was disappointed that the report was not more forward looking and felt that there was additional information that wasn’t in the report, especially for motor vehicle air conditioning.  The US is considering proposing a supplemental decision that would ask TEAP to reevaluate the information for certain sectors.

TEAP Terms of Reference

EPA has concerns about some of the proposals contained in the TEAP Task Force Report on Decision XXIII/10, including the ethics advisory panel and the re-nomination process.  EPA stated that some TOCs are planning to re-nominate their members as a group, but it is EPA’s understanding that re-nominations were supposed to be initiated by the sponsoring country.  It was noted that the new Terms of Reference will need to be adopted by a decision of the Parties.

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