Delegates to the 35th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 35) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer committed to address threats to both the ozone layer and climate. Parties adopted the largest-ever replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the Protocol’s implementation, just shy of USD 1 billion, and designated a significant portion of this funding to bringing down global temperatures.

“The replenishment … will assist developing countries in implementing their obligations under the Protocol and its Kigali Amendment, with a strong focus on shifting away from harmful greenhouses gases [(GHGs)] and substances with high global warming potential (GWP),” the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes.

While issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are increasingly tackled together, the ENB analysis of MOP 35 suggests that “[f]rom a scientific perspective, the integration between ozone and climate ‘just makes sense’” as “compliance with the Montreal Protocol avoids global warming of approximately 0.5-1°C by mid-century, with another estimated avoidance of 0.3-0.5°C warming by 2100 from the anticipated phase down of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment.”

During MOP 35, Executive Secretary Megumi Seki announced that the Ozone Secretariat will “have a strong presence” at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28) and “play an active part in promoting the United Arab Emirates’ Global Cooling Pledge initiative.” She also highlighted that the Protocol’s positive impacts on addressing ozone depletion and climate change “will have an equally impactful consequence on biodiversity and ecosystems” and contribute to solving the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution – an aim reflected in the theme of the sixth meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), ‘Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.’

Delegates adopted decisions on a number of substantive matters, including:

  • stratospheric aerosol injection;
  • addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) baseline consumption for certain parties;
  • energy efficiency;
  • very short-lived substances;
  • feedstock uses of methyl bromide;
  • potential areas of focus for the 2026 quadrennial reports of the Protocol’s Assessment Panels;
  • the import and export of prohibited cooling equipment, to address the long-standing issue of dumping; and
  • further strengthening Protocol institutions, including for combating illegal trade.

They also decided on the composition of the Protocol’s Assessment Panels and elected new members to the governing bodies by acclamation.

Delegates were unable to agree on a decision to address quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) uses of methyl bromide for which alternatives exist. They also deferred discussion on a potential roadmap to end illegal trade in controlled substances to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in July 2024.

MOP 35 convened in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23-27 October 2023. [ENB Coverage of Montreal Protocol MOP 35]