Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

China Issues Policy to Control New Production Capacity for Selected HFCs

December 28, 2021

On 28 December 2021, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly released a new policy document entitled the Circular on Strictly Controlling the First Batch of HFC Production Construction Projects (hereinafter referred to as “the Circular”).

According to the Circular, as of 1 January 2022, it is prohibited to construct or expand the production facilities for five categories of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), including HFC-32, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-143a and HFC-245fa, for controlled usages such as refrigerants and blowing agents. This excludes projects that have already had their environmental impact assessment reports approved. Additionally, the existing production facilities for the five categories of HFCs listed above are prohibited to, during the process of renovation or off-site construction, increase their production capacity of currently-approved HFC chemicals or add any of the five categories of HFCs listed above to their production list.

The Circular represents another important step in China’s implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to phase down the production and consumption of high-global warming potential HFCs.

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 HFC phasedown can avoid up to 0.5°C of future warming by 2100. To date, 129 countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment. 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. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol entered into effect in China on 15 September 2021.

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