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 Tribute to Dr. Mario Molina (1943-2020)

José Mario Molina-Pasquel y Henríquez, Dr. Mario Molina, passed away on 7 October 2020.

Working with Dr. Sherwood Rowland, Dr. Molina discovered that CFCs posed a grave risk to the ozone layer as these chemicals would eventually reach the stratosphere where they broke down and released chlorine atoms, which would start a chain reaction to destroy ozone molecules. Their findings were published in 1974 in the journal Nature. That article, and the 1985 finding by British researchers of a significant thinning in the ozone layer above the South Pole predicted by Molina and Rowland’s work, prompted international action by countries around the world to curb the use of CFCs, resulting in the adoption of the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol is the first treaty in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification.

Dr. Molina shared with Dr. Sherwood Rowland and Dr. Paul J. Crutzen the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for demonstrating the threat to the ozone layer posed by CFCs. In announcing the Nobel Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said: “By explaining the chemical mechanisms that affect the thickness of the ozone layer, the three researchers have contributed to our salvation from a global environmental problem that could have catastrophic consequences.”

The Multilateral Fund expresses its deepest condolences to Dr. Molina’s family, recognizing Dr. Molina’s singular contributions to the Montreal Protocol, to the wellbeing of current and future generations, and to all living creatures. The Fund Secretariat reiterates that it will continue to do its utmost to assist all Article 5 countries to meet their commitments on all controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol.

 Multilateral Fund’s post-COVID-19 recovery response

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s health and economic security around the world. The economic impact of lockdowns has left many developing countries vulnerable to further financial decline. Many of those countries are beneficiaries of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (referred to as Article 5 countries). Their continued efforts to restore the ozone layer, mitigate climate change and protect the environment are at risk.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented adverse impact on the manufacturing and trade of a range of consumable products because of supply constraints and a fall in demand. Cooling applications are one example. Converting cooling applications to ozone- and climate- friendly technologies is a cornerstone of the work of the Multilateral Fund, which is expected to be temporarily undermined by the pandemic. Recovery will be slow, and it will take time before output and manufacturing can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels.

The Multilateral Fund recognizes the urgency of this moment and the role it can play in post-COVID-19 recovery measures to support the environmental protection efforts of Article 5 countries and to contribute to the economic sectors that rely on the substances needed for cooling applications like refrigeration and air-conditioning that are essential for human health and welfare.

In this context, the Multilateral Fund’s response involves immediate action to reinforce its role of providing financial and technical assistance to Article 5 countries to sustain the implementation of their phase-out activities under the Montreal Protocol and to contribute to economic recovery post-COVID-19. The Executive Committee has given a high priority to the continued operations of the Fund by establishing an effective intersessional approval process that has provided over US $35 million. The funds are being used for continued support to the national ozone units in implementing phase-out activities at the country level; for continued conversion of manufacturing lines, including refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturing lines to low-to-zero global-warming-potential alternative technologies not relying on controlled substances; and for technical assistance to technicians so that they can apply better servicing practices and sustain their livelihood despite the downturn in the economy. This funding is expected to provide economic stimulus that will allow these small enterprises to remain in operation.

Much-needed international cooperation has continuously been provided through the Multilateral Fund to governments of Article 5 countries to support them in establishing policies that will support their recovery efforts, especially for sectors in which people’s livelihoods are directly affected by the pandemic. The bilateral and implementing agencies of the Fund continue to identify near-term priorities and approaches for capacity-building, information exchange and implementing training projects in these countries despite the challenges of travel restrictions. Their efforts have resulted in innovative virtual on-line solutions ensuring that countries continue to be assisted during this time.

The Multilateral Fund will continue its work to heal and restore the ozone layer, which is protecting the planet from the side effects of excessive ultraviolet radiation, despite the challenges of the new reality created by the pandemic.

 Convening of the 85th and 86th meetings

In light of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Secretariat developed a contingency plan for conducting the 85th and 86th meetings of the Executive Committee (“contingency plan”), for consideration by the Executive Committee. Taking into account the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, the contingency plan was revised and updated, accordingly. After giving due consideration to the latest updated contingency plan of 20 July 2020, and further to a consultation with the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the Executive Committee agreed:

(a) To hold its 85th and 86th meetings back to back from 8 to 12 March 2021, in Montreal, Canada, noting that:

(i) The 85th meeting would be a short meeting (up to two hours) to adopt a revised provisional agenda, to take note of Secretariat activities and the status of contributions and disbursements of the Multilateral Fund (as at 31 May 2020), and to adopt the draft report of the meeting, which will consist of those items approved under the intersessional approval process established for the 85th meeting;

(ii) The 86th meeting would commence immediately after the closure of the 85th meeting, and would address both the remaining agenda items from the 85th meeting, and all items of the 86th meeting;

(b) To implement an intersessional approval process (16 to 27 November 2020) for the 86th meeting for certain documents, reports and project proposals, through a password-protected forum under the Secretariat’s meeting portal to collect comments and decisions from Executive Committee members, on an exceptional basis due to the COVID 19 pandemic and without setting a precedent;

(c) To organize virtual informal meetings for members of the Sub-group on the Production Sector;

(d) To include in the report of the 86th meeting, relevant information and decisions resulting from the intersessional approval process.

The Secretariat will continue doing its utmost to reduce to a minimum the impact on the operation of the Multilateral Fund in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Welcome to the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

The Fund is dedicated to reversing the deterioration of the Earth's ozone layer. It was established by a decision of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (London, June 1990) and began its operation in 1991. The main objective of the Fund is to assist developing country parties to the Montreal Protocol whose annual level of consumption of the ozone depleting substances (ODS) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons is less than 0.3 kilograms per capita to comply with the control measures of the Protocol. Currently, 147 of the 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet these criteria. They are referred to as Article 5 countries.

The Multilateral Fund is managed by an Executive Committee with equal membership from developed and developing countries. Since the inception of the Fund, the Executive Committee has held 84 meetings. The Fund Secretariat, located in Montreal, assists the Executive Committee in its tasks. Projects and activities supported by the Fund are implemented by four international implementing agencies.

As at December 2019, the contributions received by the Multilateral Fund from developed countries, or non-Article 5 countries, totalled over US$ 4.07 billion. The Fund has also received additional voluntary contributions amounting to US $25.5 million from a group of donor countries to finance fast-start activities for the implementation of the HFC phase-down.

To facilitate phase-out by Article 5 countries, the Executive Committee has approved 144 country programmes, 144 HCFC phase-out management plans and has funded the establishment and the operating costs of ozone offices in 145 Article 5 countries.


 Membership of the Executive Committee in 2021

 Developing countries (Article 5)

- Armenia
- Bahrain
- China
- Djibouti
- Paraguay
- Suriname
- Zimbabwe

Developed countries (non-Article 5)

- Australia
- Belgium
- Czechia
- Japan
- Switzerland
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  
- United States of America

Chair and Vice-Chair

Mr. Alain Wilmart (Belgium) serves as Chair of the Executive Committee for one year beginning 1 January 2021. Mr.Hassan Mubarak (Bahrain) serves as Vice-Chair.


 Meetings of the Executive Committee in 2021

The 85th and 86th meetings have been postponed and will be held back-to-back from 8 to 12 March 2021.

The 87th meeting will be held from 28 June to 2 July 2021.

The 88th meeting will be held from 15 to 19 November 2021.

All these meetings will be held in Montreal, Canada.

 Montreal Protocol meetings in 2021

See the Ozone Secretariat website for further details.

 Country programme data reporting

A web-based data entry system based on the country programme format for use by national ozone units is available at: If it is not possible to use the web-based form, country programme data should be submitted using the data reporting forms in Microsoft Excel format for the appropriate year, which can be downloaded from the Countries section of this website.

 News and announcements

  Guides for the preparation of project proposals 2/28/2020  
  Executive Committee Primer 2020 2/28/2020  
  Post-meeting summary of the 84th meeting of the Executive Committee 2/14/2020  
  Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Criteria of the Multilateral Fund (December 2019) 2/5/2020  
  Adjusted consolidated business plan of the Multilateral Fund 2020-2022 1/28/2020  
  Factsheets and final reports for demonstration projects on low-global-warming-potential alternatives to HCFC technologies 1/27/2020  
  Report of the eighty-fourth meeting of the Executive Committee 12/26/2019