Facilitation for the future: The Ozone Secretariat's role during the Kigali Amendment negotiations
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The Kigali Amendment is the latest addition to the Montreal Protocol for Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This Amendment ensures that HFCs are phased down under the Protocol’s regulations. The Ozone Secretariat has shown interest in phasing down HFCs directly after they were first discussed by some Parties. But why the Secretariat did so was puzzling. First, HFCs are not an ozone depleting substance (ODS) and have a high global warming potential. They are thus a problem for the Climate Regime, not the Ozone Regime. Secretariats in general do not go beyond their mandates, so why did the Ozone Secretariat do so now? The theoretical lens adopted in this research (i.e., Secretariats have autonomy and a will of their own) then leads to the following question: If the Secretariat had a motive to immediately jump on board HFCs, what was it? The existing research on both the Kigali Amendment and Secretariat motivations remains very limited. But these topics can yield interesting insights for both future politics and research, especially because the approach of the Ozone Regime has taken on the largest chunk of emissions that lead to climate change to date. To make this contribution, the research answers the following question: Why did the Ozone Secretariat facilitate the Kigali Amendment negotiations. To answer this question, first a hypothesis was built on why the Secretariat behaved as they did. It was expected they were motivated due to a drive for survival, as right before HFCs were discussed rumors surfaced that the job of the Secretariat was completed. It was also expected that they behaved in an autonomous way, had influence on the negotiation process and operated eagerly and from behind a veil of legitimacy. To test this hypothesis, 72 documents were analyzed, and 12 in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with key figures of the Kigali Amendment negotiations. The results confirm the Secretariat had autonomy and influence, was eager to jump on HFCs and operated from behind a veil of legitimacy. Also, their motivation to do so was driven by a need for survival. These findings make an important contribution to science and society. They give an overview of, holistically, how a Secretariat operates and, empirically, what drives them. Also, the study provides a theoretical starting point to conceptualize the phenomenon of reversed problem-shifting. Ultimately, the Secretariat’s approach can serve as an inspiration to take successful action on climate change.