While the parties failed to finalise a formal negotiation process for discussions on HFC management under the Montreal Protocol at last week’s 36th Open-ended Working Group meeting in Paris, detailed discussion were held for the first time on various elements of four proposals submitted by a total of 40 countries to amend the Protocol to phase down HFCs.
Support for tackling HFCs under the Montreal Protocol has grown since the first amendment proposals were tabled in 2009. Four proposals were submitted from USA/Canada/Mexico, India, the EU and the eight pacific islands led by Micronesia and the Philippines.
According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Pakistan emerged as the only country blocking progress by the end of the five-day meeting, refusing to allow reference to the amendment proposals in the negotiated mandate, even after proponents agreed to first address issues of importance to the countries that have up to now opposed phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.
“Given that the vast majority of parties to the Montreal Protocol support these proposals amendment, it’s extremely frustrating that after another week of discussions we are yet to start formal negotiations,” said Clare Perry, EIA climate campaign team leader.
“Time is running out and substantial political efforts need to be made to clear the path towards a rapid global agreement on HFCs,” she added.