Chemicals and Waste

The Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) of Montreal Protocol at UNEP-ROWA

West Asia Network of ODS Officers comprises of 12 members; Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian National Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen; all of whom are Party to the Montreal Protocol, with the exception of the Palestinian National Authority. The Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) serves network members through several means mainly utilizing the technical and policy expertise of CAP in providing policy advice, technical services to prepare and implement phase-out strategies and projects, regular forums to facilitate South-South & South-North (S-S and S-N) experience exchange as well as mobilize resources and capacities at key relevant organizations / secretariats, aiming at achieving and maintaining compliance with Montreal Protocol targets in phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs)

Background

Under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, countries worldwide are taking specific, time-targeted actions to reduce and eliminate the production and consumption of man-made chemicals that destroy the stratospheric ozone layer, Earth’s protective shield. In 1997, the 21st Meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Multilateral Fund of Montreal Protocol approved the formation of the Ozone Officers Network for West Asia, similar to other 7 international networks in different continents. In 2002, ExCom approved strengthening the work at the regional level through the establishment of the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) which took over the management of the regional networks as well as the role of implementing national and regional phase-out plans and programs through a specialized dedicated team of professionals.

Role & Responsibilities

Networking provides a platform for NOUs from Article 5 countries to exchange experiences, develop their skills and tap the expertise of their peers in both developing and developed countries. Conducted at the regional level, the Networking activity builds the Ozone Officers' skills for implementing and managing their national ODS phase-out activities. The Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) serves network members through several means mainly utilizing the technical and policy expertise of CAP in providing policy advice, technical services to prepare and implement phase-out strategies and projects, regular forums to facilitate South-South & South-North (S-S and S-N) experience exchange as well as mobilize resources and capacities at key relevant organizations / secretariats, aiming at achieving and maintaining compliance with Montreal Protocol targets in phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). CAP also facilitates technology transfer through organizing thematic workshops / round table meetings for specific key-stakeholders based on the outcomes of biannual meetings of ODS officers. Networking activities have resulted in improved data reporting, policy making, refrigerant management plans and the development of peer pressure among ODS Officers to take early steps to implement the Montreal Protocol.

In addition, to ensure providing qualitative and on time support to member states, CAP mobilizes and maintains close coordination and cooperation at national high levels, as well as with regional and sub-regional organizations and secretariats [e.g. League of Arab States (LAS), Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO), World Customs Organization (WCO), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and other relevant regional institutes to ensure their involvement and maintaining Montreal Protocol targets within the focus of different groups.

West Asia ODS Officers’ Network is administered on a day-to-day basis by Regional Network Coordinator supported by a team of two senior program officers for phase-out programs and policy & enforcement projects/activities as well as 2 program assistants.

2012-2014 Business Plan

The focus and orientation of UNEP’s work to meet Montreal Protocol targets are defined by the evolving needs of Article 5 countries as they progress in their implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and as they meet and sustain compliance with specific obligations. UNEP’s vision and approach for CAP in business plan of 2012-2014 is following three parallel tracks of assistance for Article 5 countries:

  • Track 1: Enhance the capacity for implementing new responsibilities related to the HCFC phase-out by taking other environmental advantages including climate change into account.
  • Track 2: Ensure that countries are prepared for achieving compliance with the 2013 and 2015 control measures for HCFCs and methyl bromide.
  • Track 3: Strengthen the institutional capacity of Article 5 countries to ensure sustainable compliance of phase out targets already met.

UNEP will achieve its Business Plan objectives by a combination of compliance assistance services delivered as per the 2012 Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) budget, as well as the national, regional and global project services detailed in this Business Plan. The latter project services include HPMP preparation and implementation, Institutional Strengthening, ODS destruction preparation and technical assistance, Methyl bromide technical assistance, HCFC production sector technical assistance, and other technical assistance.

Regional Priorities and Challenges

Introduction

One of the key characteristics of West Asia region is that it consists of 11 parties out of which half of them are very high consumers of HCFCs. The consumption of HCFC in all countries in West Asia is basically associated with the building/construction sectors, due to foam and air-conditioning industry/services, which is one of the key pillars of national economies. Insulation and Air-conditioning sectors are considered to be the core of the construction/building sector in West Asia region, in particular, due to the harsh climatic conditions where ambient temperature exceeds 40s° C in many countries most of summer time and excel to 50s° C in some of them. The construction/building sector is the backbone of national development plans and is contributing significantly to the national economies of all West Asian states. In some countries, like Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the air-conditioning sector corresponds to an average of 55-65% of the national electrical demand hence is crucial is any strategic planning and development plans. Technological concerns, maturity of suitable alternatives and energy penalties related to applying some alternatives are also emerging concerns for most of West Asian countries.

Therefore, the West Asia CAP team is carefully addressing its services and support activities in order to ensure steady, irreversible and sustained steps towards compliance with less socioeconomic adverse impacts.

Priorities/Focus

The development and sound implementation of strategic and overarching HPMPs will continue to be the core focus of CAP in West Asia during 2012. Establishing and updating national relevant policies and legislations are one of the key elements that CAP will priorities in 2012 through different support means. Readiness of West Asian parties to meet the first HCFC commitment by January 2013 will be given special attention particularly with regards to ratification of the Beijing Amendment, enforcement and comprehensiveness of licensing systems as well as setting sound HCFC quota systems.

Sustaining compliance with final phase-out measures post-2010 will continue to be an important objective of CAP work besides the key priority of assisting countries in developing and adopting comprehensive long-term policies and legislations to meet the HCFC targets taking into account climate benefit considerations. Another key focus for CAP in West Asia is to ensure the introduction of long-term/low- and zero-GWP energy efficient alternatives/ technologies that suit regional operating conditions particularly high-ambient countries.

Planned Activities

The key services/projects/activities planned for CAP ROWA in 2012 are presented as below (not in order of importance):

  • Expedite finalization and submission of HPMPs.
  • Start sound implementation of approved HPMPs.
  • Ensure efficient closure of CFC phase-out plans including benefiting of overlaps between TPMPs/NPPs and HPMPs in related activities.
  • Assist NOUs to develop and implement e-Licensing systems for more efficient, prompt and accurate control on ODS trade as well as combat of illegal trade.
  • Assist NOUs to develop terms of reference and guidelines for HCFC Quota systems that should start by January 2013.
  • Continue given Iraq special attention to implement its approved NPP in timely manner to achieve compliance in accordance to MOP special decisions.
  • Provide technical and policy support as well organization of specialized events to facilitate the review/update of national and regional standards and codes related to foam and air-conditioning sectors in accordance to MP requirements.
  • Cooperate with regional/national institutions to address the technological concerns regarding long-term alternatives for HCFC particularly for high-ambient temperature countries.
  • Assist NOUs and GCC Secretariat to introduce and enforce national and regional legislations/regulations.
  • Develop and conduct regional/national activities to train respective authorities in utilizing the GCI Guide and to incorporate it within local relevant institutional training arrangements.
  • Ensure the incorporation of the regional phase-out priorities in the agenda and outcomes of high-level fora and ministerial meetings.
  • Assistance to introduce experiences and advice about sound-management of unwanted ODS and to provide technical and policy support to exchange the unwanted quantities and/or safely dispose it.
  • Develop and implement new outreach tools to ensure wider dissemination of up-to-date policy and technological information to all relevant stakeholders in the region.
  • Working on promoting the participation of all West Asian parties to the iPIC system where CAP is playing the regional and interregional coordination role.
  • Support for countries in potential or actual non-compliance
  • Provide urgent support to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Syrian Arab Republic to expedite the ratification of pending amendments -- particularly the Beijing Amendment -- to avoid being classified as non-party to those amendments starting from 2013 and hence facing complications in HCFC trade.

Anticipated Challenges

The current and emerging challenges in front of parties in West Asia include the following:

  • The current political instability in many countries in the Arab region.
  • Meeting HCFC compliance targets in HCFC high consuming countries with most of HCFC consumption is in the servicing sector.
  • Difficulties in harmonizing sectoral phase-out plans particularly for GCC countries due to phase-out priorities and the implication of that on the GCC open markets.
  • Identifying feasible alternatives/technologies for small/medium air-conditioning applications that suit high-ambient operating conditions.
  • The late start of UAE to request assistance from MLF and extra work needed to speedily prepare, submit and start an HPMP.
  • Means of offering technical and policy assistance to the National Palestinian Authority (NPA), as non-party, within limited CAP resources in West Asia.
  • Expected escalation of methyl bromide consumption in the Date sector.
  • Risk of venting large quantities of unwanted ODS due to lack of sound-management policies and mechanisms in most countries.