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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

International award recognizes EIA’s ‘unique’ climate investigations and work
EIA was delighted to be among 60 recipients recognized in the Ozone Awards 2017 by Parties to the Montreal Protocol for extraordinary commitment and outstanding contributions to fighting climate change.
California Kicks Off HFC Rulemakings Ahead of Bonn Climate Talks
At UN climate talks in Bonn this week, U.S. states are helping fill the void left in American leadership.

Recent Reports

High Stakes: Implementing and strengthening climate and ozone commitments under the Montreal Protocol
High Stakes: Implementing and strengthening climate and ozone commitments under the Montreal Protocol
Tip of the Iceberg: Implications of Illegal CFC Production and Use
Just six months after scientists revealed unexpected and high emissions of CFC-11, much has been done to address this enormous environmental crime. China has responded with an unprecedented nationwide enforcement action and has shut down at least one illegal CFC-11 production factory. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol unanimously responded at OEWG-40 to the crisis and will agree vital next steps at the 30th Meeting of the Parties in Quito, Ecuador.

Recent Press Releases

A Big Win For Climate As Montreal Protocol's Landmark Kigali Amendment Gets Green Light
Global efforts to dramatically reduce super greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change saw a major advance today as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol got the go ahead to crack down on harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
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.