China announces major cuts in industrial production of ozone depleting substances

Move will eliminate over 93 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Tuesday 16 September 2014

imageClosure of China’s HCFC production lines is supported by World Bank and Montreal protocol fund China , the world’s largest producer and consumer of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), has announced the closure of five HCFC production lines, which will result in the phase-out of 58,864 tonnes of HCFC production. 

This will reduce the country’s  HCFC production capacity by 88,000 tonnes and eliminate over 93 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement was made on Monday on the eve of the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer, that fall on September 16. This year’s theme is: “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On”.  

Bert Hofman, World Bank country director for China, addressed a gathering of senior representatives of the government of China, the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the World Bank, said , “the production closures are part of the China-World Bank HCFC production sector phase-out strategy, supported by a US $95 million grant from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. This voluntary approach to rewarding early movers builds on the innovative reverse auction programme that was jointly developed by FECO and the Bank team almost twenty years ago.”   

This initiative undertaken by China is a major leap forward for the Montreal Protocol’s global HCFC phase-out targets and accounts for nearly 16 per cent of the total HCFC production that China has agreed to close by 2030. 

In November 2012, the World Bank had approved a grant of US$73 million from the Montreal Protocol Investment Fund to the People’s Republic of China to support its efforts to meet its HCFC consumption and production phase-out obligations.  Later, in April 2013, the Multilateral Fund’s Executive Committee agreed to provide China an amount up to US $385 million for the entire elimination of its industrial production of ozone depleting substances by 2030. Since then China had been working with enterprises as part of a larger strategy to completely eliminate the country’s production capacity of ozone depleting substances by 2030. 

This first stage of China’s HCFC production closure effort will also yield important climate co-benefits that result from avoided CO2 emissions through cessation of production of high-GWP HCFCs as well as from elimination of related off-gases of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC-23) at two of the enterprises.  

The five enterprises are: Yingpeng Chemical, Zhejiang DongYang Chemical, Jiangsu Blue Star Green Technology, Hangzhou First Chemical, and Yantai Zhongrui Chemical.

The World Bank is one of the implementing agencies for the Montreal Protocol multilateral fund and has been engaged in ODS phase-out activities in China since the early 1990s, and served as its partner in both the CFC production closure sector plan and the Foam CFC phase-out sector plan under ODS IV Project. Over the past 20 years, the World Bank–China Montreal Protocol partnership has phased-out more than 219,000 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances, nearly three years ahead of the Montreal Protocol schedule. 

Tina Birmpili, executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat of UNEP, lauded the efforts and achievements of China and said “Under its HCFC strategy, China will phase out its HCFC production, contributing not only to protect the ozone layer but also to mitigate climate change because HCFCs are also powerful greenhouse gases.” Hofman, too, appreciated China’s efforts and said, “The reductions equate to taking approximately 19.5 million cars off the roads, or eliminating annual emissions from 24 coal-fired power plants.”


The scientific assessment of ozone depletion 2014

International standards in refrigeration and air-conditioning: an introduction to their role in the context of the HCFC phase-out in developing countries

Decisions taken by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to accelerate the phase out of HCFCs

Vital Ozone Graphics: the resource kit

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