China pledges to limit emissions of coolant that swells greenhouse gases

© Reuters/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS FILE PHOTO: Closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing

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.

Beijing is facing pressure to phase out HFC-23 in 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.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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