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The Montreal Protocol

The fastest, most cost-effective framework to phase-down HFCs

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (“Montreal Protocol”) is often cited as the most successful international environmental agreement—having successfully forced the phase-out of more than ninety-eight percent of ozone-depleting substances (“ODS”), placing the ozone layer on the road to recovery by the end of the twenty-first century.

The history of the Montreal Protocol is one of a dynamic treaty that responds quickly to changes in ozone and climate science, technology, and the needs of Parties and industries dependent on ODS and their substitutes - HFCs. The governance framework and institutions that have contributed to the Montreal Protocol’s success in reducing the production and consumption of ODS are the same features that make it the best framework to implement an HFC phase-down.

The Montreal Protocol makes decisions based upon sound scientific and economic information from the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (“TEAP”), Technical Options Committees (“TOCs”), and Scientific Assessment Panel (“SAP”), established to provide the Parties with real-time information.

Financing of transitions is conducted under the ambit of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (“MLF”), the dominant financial mechanism of the treaty. The MLF has played a pivotal role in providing financing, facilitating the transfer of technology, enhancing capacity building and development capabilities, and promoting the overall success of the Montreal Protocol.

EIA’s Actions to Phase-down HFCs at the Montreal Protocol and the Multilateral Fund

EIA first circulated a declaration at the 2008 Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol calling on countries to support phase-down of HFCs. Since that time we have worked with countries to get amendment proposals submitted and build support for the phase-down. We have also provided briefings, side events at meetings of the Montreal Protocol and engaged countries at the regional ozone network meetings . EIA also works to help countries overcome obstacles by engaging with delegates to the Montreal Protocol on key issues, such as the availability of alternatives, energy efficiency of new alternatives, financing mechanisms of the MLF, and more.

Within the MLF, EIA engages with Parties and the MLF to ensure adequate funding for HFC-free alternatives that leapfrog HFCs and transition directly from HCFCs to HFC-free alternatives. While the majority of developed countries have already transitioned to HFCs in the 1990’s and 2000’s, developing countries are just starting their HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMP). HPMPs occur in stages with each stage phasing out a higher percentage of HCFCs.

Stage 1 of developing countries’ (Article 5) HPMP, which required a freeze and 10% phase-down of HCFCs, more than a hundred million tonnes of CO2e were avoided annually by transitions directly to HFC-free alternatives. EIA is working to ensure that the correct mechanisms within the MLF are in place to properly fund transitions to HFC-free alternatives and to encourage countries to transition directly to HFC-free alternatives.

Recent Blog Posts

Unchartered Territory: Funding Climate Action During a Pandemic
This week, Parties to the Montreal Protocol, renowned as the world’s most successful environmental treaty came together remotely for their annual intersessional meeting, known as the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). The Montreal Protocol has a vital role to play in addressing climate change, as it becomes increasingly clear that we are currently not on the pathway to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 °C.
Montreal Protocol Countries Make Key Decisions in Rome
At MOP 31, 171 nations grappled with improving enforcement, monitoring banned gases, financing the MLF, ensuring a sustainable cold chain, and more.

Recent Press Releases

China Proposes Stronger Steps to Protect our Climate and Ozone
Today, China proposed a new national plan to tackle hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases used primarily in cooling.
EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.