Report accuses China firms over ozone-depleting gas

Not only this, but out of those who did, they all stated that it was the majority - between 70 and 100% - of their production, and discussions with company executives proved that "these are not isolated incidents but instead represent common practice across the industry".

Almost 20 Chinese companies have been branded as responsible for the production of an ozone-depleting chemical damaging the environment. The survey reports from China analysed the reason for still using the CFC11 and it was found that there was no effective alternative to it in the market.

Traders cited by EIA also said that Chinese companies export the banned CFC agents by mislabelling them as Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) compounds and other chemical blends. According to the NGO, companies it spoke to "acknowledged the illegality of their actions and explained that it was used because it was cheaper and made more effective foams". By GCR Staff0 CommentsA report issued today by the Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) has revealed China as the mystery source of an ozone-destroying gas that has been banned by worldwide protocol since 2010.

The EIA, in its report, notes the fines for producing, selling or consuming ODS are quite low and range from 5000 RMB ($750) to 1 million RMB ($150,000) "depending on the violation".

The mystery of the excessive amounts of banned CFC-11 (tricholorofluromethane) in the atmosphere seems to have been solved.

The Chinese government is yet to respond to these allegations, but will address this matter soon, according to the NY Times.

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"If China doesn't stop this illegal production, it will imperil our slowly healing ozone layer", said Alexander von Bismarck, EIA US Executive Director.

Montzka added that it was possible that someone else is also still producing CFC-11. What we've uncovered is a systemic problem, not isolated incidents.

The report was released ahead of the July 11-14 Open-Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol in Vienna, where the issue of the rogue CFC-11 emissions is likely to be high on the agenda, the EIA said. "We want them to clamp down but it's supremely important for them to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the sector".

"This is an environmental crime on a massive scale", said EIA campaign leader Clare Perry. Steps need to be taken to ensure enforcement and compliance with all the obligations of the Montreal Protocol, including new controls on HFCs. In fact, the Montreal Protocol is considered the world's most successful environmental agreement, mainly because it gives countries financial assistance for substitution. The EIA report recommends that the Montreal Protocol and its Parties should, "request the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) and Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) to further analyse the atmospheric measurements and foam sector and provide information and recommendations to the Parties".

Investigators have finally zeroed in on the source of the trichlorofluoromethane or CFC-11 and traced it all the way to China.

Experts said that the atmospheric level of CFC-11 is rapidly increasing despite its full ban order in 2010.

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