In the midst of the global pandemic, the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MLF) has successfully organized two intersessional approval processes to ensure continued funding for developing countries to meet their obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
In 2020, the MLF approved US$17.8m for project proposals submitted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In addition to the tranches of ongoing HCFC Phase-Out Management Plans (HPMPs), the MLF approved new stages of the HPMPs for 16 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Botswana, Ecuador, Gambia, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Serbia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and Zambia. In December 2020, the MLF also approved UNIDO’s proposal for the first HPMP for Syria; until now the only remaining Article-5 country without an approved HPMP.
HPMPs are sector-wide programmes designed to help countries gradually reduce their use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which destroy the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Each HPMP is unique and the funding received from the MLF allows UNIDO to implement a wide range of activities in support of ozone protection and climate action.
Overall, the ambitious portfolio of projects approved by the MLF for implementation by UNIDO indicates that, while 2020 was a challenging year, there is still a strong commitment to safeguarding the environment on a global level and vast opportunities to build back better.