The main points of the proposal
The proposal envisions an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. It leaves unchanged the provisions of the UNFCCC / Kyoto Protocol that govern HFCs, requiring, however, a related decision by the UNFCCC confirming the Montreal Protocol approach. Its key points include:
- Phase-down rather than phase-out of production and consumption: According to the proposal, parties will be required to achieve a final phase-down plateau of production and consumption of 15% of the baseline in year 2033 for developed countries and year 2043 for developing countries. The phase down will commence in 2013 in developed countries and 2016 in developing, while the baseline will be calculated as the average of 2004-2006 annual production and consumption of HCFCs and HFCs.
- Interim targets: The phasedown schedules for both developing and developed countries include interim targets between the commencement and reaching the final plateau.
- Limiting HFC-23 byproduct emissions: The proposal includes provisions to limit HFC-23 byproduct emissions resulting from the production of HCFCs such as HCFC22.
- Licencing of imports and exports: The proposal requires licensing of HFC imports and exports, and bans imports and exports to non-Parties.
- Reporting on production and consumption: The proposal requires reporting on production and consumption of HFCs, as well as on HFC-23 byproduct emissions.
A short news video about the interlinkages between ozone layer protection and climate change in the context of the HCFC phase out and growing interest in HFCs has been produced by the UNEP DTIE OzonAction Programme, in cooperation with UNEP's Division of Communication and Public Information. The video features high-level officials from UNEP, including UNEP's Executive Director and Under-Secretary General Achim Steiner, scientists and NGOs.
“Under the Montreal Protocol, HCFCs widely used by developing countries, are to be phased-out by 2030. This will amount to saving 9,000 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. But the climate benefits will only be assured if HFCs […] are not taken up as the main replacement to CFC and HCFC. And at present there is international timetable for removing HFC gases and not international agreement under which to do it. However, momentum is building up”.
UNEP's Executive Director and Under-Secretary General Achim Steiner concludes that “the lessons we have learnt in the Montreal Protocol are equally valid for the negotiations leading up to Copenhagen and I think have already influenced the nature of the deal. […] The big prize is to have a deal in Copenhagen that allows the North-South partnership to transition towards a low-carbon economy”, concludes.