Is China Emitting a Climate-Super Pollutant in Violation of Treaty?

"Concentrations of HFC-23, one of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases, remained elevated in East Asia after China, a known past polluter, agreed to curb emissions."

"Preliminary atmospheric monitoring data from a remote South Korean island off China’s east coast shows elevated concentrations of hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23), a greenhouse gas 14,700 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a pound-for-pound basis, according to the World Meteorological Association.

The gas concentrations remain elevated in air samples collected at the Gosan atmospheric monitoring station on South Korea’s Jeju Island in 2022 even after China, previously identified as the source of HFC-23 pollution detected at this site, was supposed to have ceased emitting it under an international agreement.

In June 2021, China ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a binding international agreement that seeks to curb emissions of climate-warming HFCs, synthetic gases primarily used for air conditioning and refrigerating. The agreement entered into force in China on September 15, 2021, requiring the country to reduce HFC-23 emissions “to the extent practicable” by the end of 2021."

Phil McKenna and Peter Aldhous report for Inside Climate News November 18, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/20/2023