BEIJING, November 22, 2012 – Yesterday the World Bank 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.
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone-depleting substances (ODS) with high global-warming potential and subject to consumption and production control measures of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Montreal Protocol requires gradual phase-out starting from 2013 and leading to a complete phase-out of HCFC consumption and production by 2030 for developing countries known as “Article 5” countries.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of HCFCs. In 2009, China produced more than 70 percent of the global HCFC supply and was responsible for more than half of the global HCFC consumed for manufacturing foam and refrigeration products, producing solvents, and servicing existing equipment. Therefore, phase-out of HCFCs in China is critical for the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
“Phasing out of HCFCs presents opportunities for China not only in the redesign of its products to ozone-friendly technologies but also from the benefit of new available technology that is more energy efficient,” said Viraj Vithoontien, Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank. “Improving thermal insulation, increasing energy efficiency of refrigeration and air-conditioning products, and replacing the production of HCFCs with environmentally friendlier alternatives through the modernization of existing manufacturers; alongside an enabling policy and regulatory framework, will allow China to improve its efficient use of energy and its limited resources. This will also significantly contribute to global efforts to combat climate change”.
Designed to help China phase out both its production and consumption of HCFCs in the polyurethane (PU) foam sector, the China HCFC Phase-out Project provides support to the following activities:
- Investment in HCFC-141b consumption reduction. Focus will be on introduction of alternative technologies to support phase-out of about 12,000 MT of HCFC-141b in three subsectors including reefers and containers, refrigeration and freezers, and small household appliances, and on provision of support to select enterprises in other subsectors, including insulation pipes and panels, solar water heaters and block foam, to cut another 2,000 MT of HCFC-141b consumption in order to meet the overall reduction target of at least 14,000 MT by 2015;
- In addition to investment in HCFC-141b consumption reduction, the project will also provide support to initiate efforts to reduce production of HCFCs, technical assistance, policy support and project management to ensure timely and sustainable phase-out of HCFCs, and preparation of HCFC phase-out activities beyond 2015.
The World Bank is one of the implementing agencies for the Multilateral Fund for Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The Bank 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 the ODS IV Project.