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IGSD Ozone/Climate Briefing Note: Strengthening the Montreal Protocol by Promoting the Destruction of ODS Banks

FAQs on ODS Banks Destruction under the Montreal Protocol

IGSD Briefing Note:
Abrupt Climate Change and Tipping Points
Abrupt Climate Change and Tipping Points (Chinese)

The Importance of Military Organizations in Protecting the Climate, 3-5 November 2008, Paris, France

Major Economies Promote Montreal Protocol, Fast Action on Climate

How to Tackle Greenhouse Gases” a letter from IGSD President to The Washington Post

MEA Bulletin guest article: Start then Strengthen: The Importance of Immediate Action for Climate Mitigation, by K. Madhava Sarma & Durwood Zaelke

MEA Bulletin guest article: Fast and Furious: Early Agreement on Fair and Equitable Financing is Key to Post-2012 Treaty by Romina Picolotti, Argentina’s Minister of Environment

EPA Honors Montreal Protocol Champions for Protection of Climate

Black Carbon a Major Contributor to Climate Change: a letter to the International Herald Tribune

The Montreal Protocol and Climate Change: Lessons for Success” Side Event, 4 December 2007, Bali

Bali Side Event powerpoint presentations:
Mr. Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat
Mr. K. Madhava Sarma, former Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat
Mr. Husamuddin Ahmadzai, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

How to Make Bali Climate Talks Productive: Some Hints from the Montreal Protocol
Comments on this document should be sent to Durwood Zaelke or K. Madhava Sarma

Montreal Protocol's Key Lessons for Climate Negotiations

MEA Bulletin Guest Article by Romina Picolotti, Argentina's Minister of Environment: A Tale of Two Cities: Lessons for Climate Negotiators

Strengthened Ozone Treaty Provides Powerful Climate Mitigation, IGSD press release, 23 Sep 07

Montreal, 20 years later by Achim Steiner,

Ozone Treaty's Role in Combating Climate Change, UNEP Press Release 14 Sept:

Ozone treaty, rare global success, fetes 20-year mark by Marlowe Hood, AFP

Climate talks in Montreal to take dual aim Yahoo, AFP

Global climate change, ozone layer are tied: UN official Yahoo, AFP

Joint Statement on Climate Change and Energy by President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard

Ozone treaty offers insurance against climate change by SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER, Toronto Globe

How to Gain A Climate Consensus by George P. Shultz, Washington Post

Beyond Kyoto: Harvesting the Montreal Protocol's Low-Hanging Fruit by Dan Worth, The Huffington Post

The ozone treaty can do much more for the planet by Dr. Mario Molina, Financial Times

Key documents

G8 Summit Declaration

Country proposals

Federated States of Micronesia
The United States

Assessment of country proposals

Comparative assessment by Environmental Investigation Agency Comparative assessment by IFC International

Quotable quotes

In a joint statement, US President, George Bush, and Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, recently stated

"We will also endeavor under the Montreal Protocol to ensure the recovery of the ozone layer to pre-1980 levels by accelerating the phase-out of HCFCs in a way that supports energy efficiency and climate change objectives."

Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, recently stated:

"Although the world is on track to fully eliminate HCFCs, speeding up the phase-out would allow us to simultaneously address two of the most critical issues facing our planet today - ozone preservation and climate change"

France's Environment Minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, has said:

"For the European Union, the schedule for eliminating HCFCs must be pushed up by 10 years -- that will be the benchmark for deciding if the negotiations are successful,"

Led by a small number of governments and non-governmental organizations, major efforts are now underway at the international and national levels to address the ozone-climate issue and to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs.

Leadership at the international level

Leadership is coming from both developing and developed countries. Argentina-Brazil, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mauritania, Norway- Switzerland-Iceland, and the U.S. submitted proposals for an acceleraged HCFC phase-out, with the developing country Parties’ proposals conditioned on funding from the Multilateral Fund.

Quiet but effective US efforts have helped expand the developed country participation in the coalition, which should now include the G8 (where Germany seems to be a strong advocate), the EU (which originally proposed accelerating the phase-out of HCFCs several years ago), and more recently Australia.

Argentina is working aggressively to expand the developing country participation in the coalition, as are low-lying States, who fear the 10-year window for “tipping point” for abrupt sea-level rise. India and Mexico also are reported to be supporting, and both seem to favor the US phase-out schedule, which is faster than the other proposals.

Leadership at the national level

At the national level in the United States, Congressman Waxman introduced a bill 3 August to encourage US negotiators to aggressively pursue the adjustment’s twin benefits for ozone and climate, and otherwise to regulate HCFCs. See  Statements to US House Committees have been offered by prominent companies (such as DuPont) and scientists (such as Dr. Guus Velders) supporting action on ozone-climate linkages.

Growing international support

The 7 June G8 Summit Declaration committed to “accelerating the phase-out of HCFCs in a way that supports energy efficiency and climate change objectives,” further noting that “Improving energy efficiency worldwide is the fastest, the most sustainable and the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security…." (para. 59 & 46.)

Building on the Montreal Protocol’s existing climate contribution

The Montreal Protocol has already helped tackle climate change. Without the Montreal Protocol, and earlier efforts to reduce ODS (starting in 1974 when Drs. Rowland & Molina first warned the world of danger to the ozone layer) the contribution of ODS to climate change would almost have matched that from CO2 by 2010.  Early effective action has delayed climate change up to 35-41 years. By 2010 the Montreal Protocol will reduce radiative forcing many times more than the first reduction target of the Kyoto Protocol. The reduction will be about 13% of that due to accumulated emissions of CO2 from human activities, and will delay forcing by up to 12 years, allowing new technology to enter global markets.  

Increasing coherence between the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols

A well-designed phase out will increase coherence between the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols. The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows industrialized countries to buy emissions credits for the reduction of greenhouse gases in developing countries. The majority of the early projects award credits for the destruction of a chemical called HFC-23, a potent global warming gas in its own right that is a by-product of the production of HCFC-22. Because these credits are so lucrative, they create a strong disincentive to stop the production of HCFC-22.  Phasing out HCFC-22 would help address the perverse incentive established under the CDM and ensure both ozone and climate benefits are realized – ensuring greater coherence between the Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol.

Strengthening the Montreal Protocol on its 20th Anniversary

Additional actions – by governments, non-governmental organizations, business, the media and others – is required to secure a deal at the 20th Anniversary Conference of Parties meeting in Montreal. 

  • Accelerating the phase-out of HCFCs in a way that supports energy efficiency and climate change objectives can be accomplished by structuring an adjustment to require the following measures:
  • Advancing the baseline and freeze date for HCFCs, and instituting a step-down phase-out schedule
  • Managing the transition out of HCFCs to promote the replacement of HCFCs with substitutes and alternatives that have zero or low Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) and are used in lower quantities, leak less, and are easier to recover
  • Managing the transition to improve the energy efficiency of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, and
  • Promoting not-in-kind substitutes and product alternatives with low or zero impacts on both the ozone layer and the climate.

Various forms of these measures are incorporated in the six adjustments proposed in March 2007 to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs, and are included in the Co-Chair’s Consolidated Issues Paper prepared at the OEWG in June 2007.

The history of the Montreal Protocol has been to meet new challenges, and to continuously strengthen the treaty. Agreeing on an adjustment that maximizes the available climate benefits will mark the first time that both developing and developed countries accept binding international commitments to mitigate climate change, as well as to protect the ozone layer.