China pledges to limit emissions of coolant that is powerful greenhouse gas

China is facing pressure to phase out HFC-23 as part of its obligations under a protocol on ozone-depleting substances.
China is facing pressure to phase out HFC-23 as part of its obligations under a protocol on ozone-depleting substances.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China will take action to control emissions of HFC-23, a potent greenhouse gas created during the production of refrigerants, the Environment Ministry said on Saturday (Sept 25).

Beijing is facing pressure to phase out HFC-23 as part of its obligations under the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances, which took effect in China this month.

Also known as trifluoromethane, HFC-23 is one of 18 types of hydrofluorocarbons to be gradually banned under the measure. It is a by-product of HCFC-22, a refrigerant widely produced in China, although illegal in Europe.

An official of the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental Protection said on its website that China's 19 makers of HCFC-22 must install approved HFC-23 disposal technologies and submit annual emissions data to the United Nations.

They will also be encouraged to capture and use HFC-23 as a raw material, to keep it out of the atmosphere, the official was quoted as saying.