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China’s Policy Opportunity to Avoid Dumping of Obsolete Cooling Equipment and Support Development and Climate Goals


Article illustrates a new climate strategy of applying China’s Same-Line Policy to exported ACs

An Opportunity That Should Not Be Missed: Applying Chinese Policy That Promotes Efficient Air Conditioning to Countries That Need It (Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Spring 2021) highlights the climate and industry benefits that can be gained through expansion of China’s “Same Line, Same Standard and Same Quality Policy.” This Policy encourages manufacturers to sell products within China that were produced for overseas markets according to standards exceeding those for products produced for the Chinese market. Policies like these, representing a course of action that China’s leadership endorses, can drive changes in Chinese law, including changes that address loopholes in the law that allow climate-harmful activities to continue.

The article illustrates a new strategy to help mitigate climate-harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Coordinated international action on energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling could avoid as much as 460 billion tonnes of GHG emissions – roughly equal to eight years of global emissions at 2018 levels – over the next four decades. The strategy applies the Same-Line Policy to ACs (including energy-consuming AC components) that China-based companies export, so that the efficiency of the exported ACs shall at least meet China’s minimum energy performance standards. Such a strategy is particularly powerful when applied to products destined for importing countries that either lack any minimum energy performance standards for such products or have minimum energy performance standards which are lower than those applied to such products in China.

This new strategy is in China’s and the world’s interests because it facilitates efforts to avoid climate change’s existential threat to a livable planet Earth. Furthermore, it is in line with provisions in China’s recently released policies, including the Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy. The Working Guidance provides that China will “strictly manage the export of high energy-consuming and high-emission products.” In applying the Same-Line Policy to exported ACs, China would take a substantial first step in helping move the Working Guidance from policy statement to concrete action.

The article is co-authored by IGSD attorneys Xiaopu Sun and Richard Ferris, in collaboration with Professor Houfu Yan from Beijing Normal University and Professor Shekun Wang from China Northwest University.

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