FSM lobbies to phase down the Production and Consumption of HFCs
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 2, 2010 - The twenty-second Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from November 8 - November 12, 2010. The FSM delegation to the 22nd MOP, including Antonio Oposa, Adviser to the FSM on the Montreal Protocol, and Dennis Clare, Adviser to the FSM United Nations Mission in New York, was led by Ambassador Masao Nakayama, Permanent Representative of FSM to the United Nations in New York.
The delegation's primary efforts at the MOP were to advance the FSM's proposed amendment to the Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) under the treaty. This proposed amendment would offer major climate benefits by preventing HFC emissions equivalent to up to 100 billion tones of CO2 by 2050. The amendment was co-sponsored by Mauritius, the Philippines, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Seychelles and Tuvalu. Following the FSM proposal, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada submitted a similar proposal. The FSM delegation's efforts included both the direct engagement of parties to build support for the proposed amendment, as well as continued use of the treaty's legal process to continue to enhance the scientific, technical and legal foundation for the proposed amendment.
The primary outcome of the meeting with respect to FSM's proposed amendment was the release of a Declaration signed by ninety-one Parties calling for use of alternatives to HCFCs that have minimal impacts on climate change. These impacts are measured in units of Global Warming Potential (GWP). Since HFCs have high GWPs, the Declaration calling for use of low-GWP alternatives means that parties will be seeking substitutes for HCFCs other than HFCs, lending support to FSM's effort to phase out HFCs.
The signing of the Declaration by ninety-one parties this year, represents an increase of fifty countries over the forty-one who signed a similar Declaration last year. Even more countries are expected to sign the Declaration in the coming weeks. In addition to the Declaration, the Parties agreed to make discussion of the HFC phase-down amendments an agenda item for the Open-Ended Working Group Meeting in the summer of 2011.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, in May 1989; since then, it has undergone seven revisions. It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050. Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation. It has been ratified by 196 States, the Federated States of Micronesia ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1995.
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