(Jul 2, 2007)

China bans two ozone-depleting substances

From AP

BEIJING (AP) - China has banned the production and import of two ozone-depleting substances, honoring an international commitment to phase them out by 2010, state media reported Monday.

China is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol, which now has 189 member nations and is considered one of the most effective environmental treaties. Almost $2.1 billion (euro1.5 billion) has been spent through an affiliated fund prodding countries to stop using chlorofluorocarbons, also known as CFCs.

CFCs are used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and halon is used in fire extinguishers. The two have been identified as the main substances damaging the earth's ozone layer.

Eight industries that used or produced CFCs and halon had banned the substances at the end of June, the official Xinhua News Agency said, without naming the industries.

The final six Chinese factories to produce CFCs, located in Changshu in eastern China's Jiangsu province, agreed to stop production Saturday, Xinhua reported.

China had disposed of about 100,000 tons of CFCs and about 80,000 tons of halon since it signed the protocol in 1991, said Zhang Lijun, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

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