Report accuses China firms over ozone-depleting gas

Mindy Sparks
July 11, 2018

"Detailed discussions with company executives make clear that these are not isolated incidents but instead represent common practice across the industry", the environmental group said.

The EIA says that its estimates of the amount of the gas being used in China are in the middle of the emissions range calculated by scientists in their report in May. Numerous companies knew of the illegality of CFC-11 but continued to use it due to its cheaper price and ability to produce better foams, says the report. According to the NGO, companies it spoke to "acknowledged the illegality of their actions and explained that it was used because it was cheaper and made more effective foams". "One company representative told EIA sources that HCFC-141b [an alternative still allowed in China under its Montreal Protocol obligations] is 1000 RMB ($150) per tonne more expensive than CFC-11", the report notes. By GCR Staff0 CommentsA report issued today by the Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) has revealed China as the mystery source of an ozone-destroying gas that has been banned by global protocol since 2010. "It has to result in seizures, it has to result in arrests so that people know there are harsh penalties for the production of CFC-11".

"The Multilateral Fund paid for the phase out of the production of CFC-11 and CFC-12", the expert said, naming two ozone depleting agents. The EIA advises in its report that China "immediately cracks down on the illegal activities of the companies identified and their network", along with introducing other initiatives like more effective checks, more investigations, and higher fines.

If China does not stop this illegal production, it will endanger the ozone layer that is hard to return to its natural state.

Montzka added that it was possible that someone else is also still producing CFC-11.

He added: "What we've uncovered is a systemic problem, not isolated incidents".

They went to Kigali, Rwanda, to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and take 0.5C out of future global warming, and the 170 countries that successfully negotiated an amendment to the Montreal protocol treaty agreed to get rid of 90% of them.

The report is released ahead of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol meeting in Vienna this week. The EIA report recommends that the Montreal Protocol and its Parties should, "request the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) and Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) to further analyse the atmospheric measurements and foam sector and provide information and recommendations to the Parties".

This comes in the wake of "shocking evidence showing significant and unexplained emissions of the ozone-destroying chemical CFC-11 in the atmosphere", said EIA.

In May this year, Nature magazine released a study showing that the reduction of banned chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) which contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer has slowed by nearly half, indicating that someone, somewhere was producing the chemical.

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