Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

China Announces Plans for Domestic Regulatory and Policy Action on HFCs

July 26, 2021

26 July 2021— At its monthly press conference, the China Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced plans for domestic regulatory and policy action to implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The announcement built on commitments made by President Xi Jinping earlier this year. In a virtual summit with President Macron of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany on 16 April 2021, President Xi first announced China will accept the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, as well as to strengthen the control of non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), including HFCs that are scheduled for phasedown under the Kigali Amendment. President Xi Jinping further stressed China’s commitment to “accept the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol” and “to strengthen the control of non-CO2 GHGs” at the Leaders Climate Summit on 22 April 2021. On 17 June 2021, China then submitted the ratification document for the Kigali Amendment. The Kigali Amendment will therefore be effective in China on 15 September 2021.

At the monthly press conference in July, the China Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced plans for domestic regulatory and policy action to implement the Kigali Amendment on HFCs phasedown, including:

  • To incorporate the control of HFCs into the domestic legislative and regulatory system through amending the Regulations on the Administration of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and adjusting the List of Controlled ODS in China and the ODS List for Import and Export Control in China.
  • To incorporate the HFCs phasedown into China’s National Plan for ODS Phaseout. Carry out HFCs data collection, analysis and industry research. Identify the areas, roadmaps and policy measures for future implementation of HFCs phasedown.
  • To establish and implement HFCs import and export licensing system. Cooperate with relevant ministries and agencies on assigning the commodity codes for HFCs import and export. Enhance the capacity of the national ODS import and export review and approval system to prepare for incorporation of HFCs import and export into the review system.
  • To issue the control policies on HFC-23 in order to regulate and guide industry activities on HFC-23 emission control.

Mitigation of non-CO2 super climate pollutants—particularly methane, HFCs, black carbon, and tropospheric ozone—combined with mitigation of CO2 and promotion of nature-based solutions particularly for protection of irrecoverable carbon sinks, provide three of the most effective strategies to help keep the 1.5°C target within reach. These strategies reduce the likelihood we will trigger catastrophic climate impacts that can put mid-century carbon neutrality goals out of reach.

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, agreed by the Parties in October 2016, represents the single biggest piece of climate mitigation to date. A fast HFCs phasedown can avoid up to 0.5°C of future warming by 2100. To date, 122 countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Beyond phasing down HFCs, improving the energy efficiency of cooling equipment has the potential to at least double the climate benefits of the Kigali Amendment in the near term.