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UN to Support China to Phase out Ozone-Depleting Substances, with Major Climate Benefits

23 April 2013 - The United Nations body that supports developing countries to phase out substances that damage the ozone layer will provide China with up to US$380 million in funding to eliminate industrial production of the ozone-depleting substances HCFCs (or hydrochlorofluorocarbons) by the year 2030, it was announced today.

China - the world's largest producer and consumer of HCFCs - is set to retire its current HCFC production capacity, as well as surplus production capacity that is currently not utilized, as part of the agreement with the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

The Chinese government says the total amount of HCFCs to be eliminated by 2030 will prevent the emission of over 4.3 million metric tonnes of HCFCs (equal to 300,000 tonnes in terms of its ozone depletion potential), and 8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.

HCFCs are widely used in the refrigeration, foam, solvent, aerosol and fire fighting sectors as a replacement for ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), which were successfully phased out worldwide under the Montreal Protocol in 2010.

Although having considerably lower ozone depleting potential than CFCs, many HCFCs have high global warming potentials, of up to 2000 times that of carbon dioxide.

HCFCs are among the last remaining substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol; one of the most widely ratified treaties in United Nations history.

The Protocol has enabled reductions of over 98 per cent of all global production and consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances, thus supporting the restoration of the ozone layer which protects life on Earth from harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet light.

China accounts for 92 per cent of the total HCFC production in developing countries. The phase-out of HCFC production in China is thus fundamental to ensure the compliance of all developing countries with the Montreal Protocol.

Under the new arrangement, China will close and dismantle production of HCFCs for uses controlled under the Montreal Protocol. The country has agreed to ensure that any HCFC plants that will receive funding do not switch to producing HCFCs as industrial feedstock; a use not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

Over the next four years, China will receive US $95 million to cover the first stage of its HCFC production phase-out management plan. This is designed to assist the country to meet the freeze in HCFC production by 2013 and the reduction by 10 per cent by 2015, as required by the Montreal Protocol's HCFC phase-out schedule.

China's progress towards phasing out HCFC production will be verified by the Multilateral Fund before further funding is awarded. Any interest earned by China on the amounts received will be offset against future funding.

The project with China is potentially the largest approved so far under the Multilateral Fund.

Since 1991, the Multilateral Fund has approved activities including industrial conversion, technical assistance, training and capacity building worth approximately US $3 billion that will result in the phase out of more than 460,000 Ozone Depletion Potential tonnes of ozone-depleting substances in developing countries.

The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) is one of four implementing agencies of the Multilateral Fund, along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank.

Notes to Editors

About the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol sets specific time bound targets to reduce and eventually phase-out the consumption and production of chemicals that damage the ozone layer (ozone depleting substances or ODS) in both developed and developing countries.

The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol was established to provide financial and technical cooperation, including the transfer of technologies to Parties operating under paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Montreal Protocol, Article 5 countries, to enable their compliance with the Montreal Protocol's targets. Article 5 countries are developing country Parties whose annual per capita consumption and production of CFCs and halons is less than 0.3 kg per capita on the date of entry into force of the Montreal Protocol or any time thereafter until 1 January 1999. There are currently 148 countries categorized as operating under Article 5 paragraph 1 of the Montreal Protocol (September 2012).

The Multilateral Fund is managed by an Executive Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The Committee comprises seven members from developed and seven members from developing countries. In 2013 the Committee membership includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, Japan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America (developed countries) and India, Kuwait, Mali, Nicaragua, Serbia Uganda and Uruguay (developing country members) . Ms. Fiona Walters (United Kingdom) serves as Chair and Mr. VladanZdravkovic (Serbia) serves as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee for one year beginning 1 January 2013. The Committee is assisted by the Fund Secretariat which is based in Montreal, Canada. Activities are implemented by four international agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, World Bank) and a number of bilateral government agencies.

In September 2007 the Parties to the Montreal Protocol decided to accelerate the freeze and phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone-depleting substances (ODS) with a significant global-warming potential. The Montreal Protocol requires Article 5 country Parties to gradually phase-out HCFCs starting from 2013 with a freeze in consumption and production, a 10 per cent reduction by 2015, 35 per cent reduction by 2020, a 67.5 per cent reduction by 2025 resulting in the complete phase-out of HCFC consumption and production by 2030 while allowing an amount of 2.5 per cent for the servicing of existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment during the period 2030 to 2040. The Multilateral Fund intends to finance HCFC phase out in the countries eligible for its financial and technical assistance. As at the 69th meeting of the Executive Committee that took place from 15 to 19 April 2013 in Montreal (Canada), 138 Article 5 countries have national plans to phase-out HCFCs in place.

For more information, please contact:

Julia Anne Dearing, Information Management Officer, Secretariat of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, Phone: +1514 282-7862, Mobile: +1 514 591 9353, E-mail: secretariat@unmfs.org

 
China is the world's largest producer and consumer of HCFCs.


 

 

Further Resources

Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

UNEP Ozone Secretariat

UNEP OzonAction

 

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