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 Convening of the 87th meeting

Since the World Health Organization assessed the outbreak of the coronavirus as a pandemic on 11 March 2020, the Secretariat had developed a contingency plan for conducting the 85th and 86th meetings, which was modified and adapted on several occasions according to the evolution of the pandemic, in consultation with the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Executive Committee (for 2020 and 2021) as required.

In view of the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic still prevailing in early 2021, the Executive Committee was informed that the 87th meeting planned from 28 June to 2 July 2021 in Montreal, would not be held in-person; instead, an intersessional approval process (IAP-87) with formal online meetings (on 25 and 28 June 2021) and online contact group meetings would be organized.

A closed (password protected) session of IAP-87 will be held beginning in late June to address documents relating to inter alia country programme data and prospects for compliance, status reports and reports on projects with specific reporting requirements, an update on the status of implementation of the 2021-2023 consolidated business plan of the Multilateral Fund, work programmes of implementing agencies and several project proposals.

A series of online meetings, where some sessions allow observers’ participation, will be held during June and July to consider inter alia the report of the 86th meeting of the Executive Committee; the draft guidelines for the preparation of HFC phase-down plans for Article 5 countries; the document on potential strategies, policy measures and commitments, as well as projects and activities that could be integrated within stage I of HFC phase-down plans for Article 5 countries to ensure limits on growth and sustainable reductions in HFC consumption; the document on the framework for consultations with relevant funds and financial institutions to explore the mobilization of additional financial resources for maintaining or enhancing energy efficiency when replacing HFCs with low global-warming potential refrigerants in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector; key aspects related to HFC-23 by-product control technologies in Argentina and Mexico; items to be considered by the Sub-Group on the Production Sector; and a report on the progress made on the recruitment process for the position of Chief Officer.

Following the conclusion of the IAP-87 and these meetings, a report of the 87th meeting will be prepared. Agenda Items that were not considered or not concluded will be deferred to the 88th meeting. Further information about the modalities for the 88th meeting will be shared in due course, dependent upon the global health situation.

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.

 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.

 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

 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: www.multilateralfund.org/cpnew. 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

  Job opening: Programme Assistant (Individual Contractor) 7/14/2021  
  Job opening: Chief Officer, D2 7/14/2021  
  HCFC phase-out management plans and HCFC production phase-out management plans (June 2021) 6/24/2021  
  Adjusted consolidated business plan of the Multilateral Fund 2021-2023 5/31/2021  
  Report of the extended intersessional approval process for the 86th meeting 5/26/2021  
  Report of the Eighty-fifth meeting of the Executive Committee 4/14/2021  
  Report of the intersessional approval process established for the 86th meeting 3/16/2021  
  Report of the intersessional approval process established for the 85th meeting 3/16/2021  
  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  
  Factsheets and final reports for demonstration projects on low-global-warming-potential alternatives to HCFC technologies 1/27/2020