Tuesday, June 26, 2018

China is breaking the Montreal Protocol

Last month we learned that there had been a sudden spike in the atmospheric concentration of the ozone-depleting chemical CFC-11, which suggested that someone was breaking the Montreal Protocol on a huge scale. The new CFC production / release was located somewhere in east Asia, which immediately suggested China was responsible. And yes, its them:

Interviews, documents and advertisements collected by The New York Times and independent investigators indicate that a major source — possibly the overwhelming one — is factories in China that have ignored a global ban and kept making or using the chemical, CFC-11, mostly to produce foam insulation for refrigerators and buildings.

“You had a choice: Choose the cheaper foam agent that’s not so good for the environment, or the expensive one that’s better for the environment,” said Zhang Wenbo, owner of a refrigerator factory here in Xingfu, in Shandong Province, where he and many other small-scale manufacturers said that until recently, they had used CFC-11 widely to make foam insulation.

“Of course, we chose the cheaper foam agent,” Mr. Zhang said during an interview in his office. “That’s how we survived.”


“They never told us until last year that it was damaging the atmosphere,” Mr. Zhang said. “Nobody came to check what we were using, so we thought it was O.K.”

Apparently there's an entire underground industry there of illegally producing CFC-11 to supply corrupt businessmen like Zhang who choose the cheaper foam over obeying the law and protecting the environment. Its just another example of that country's corrupt business culture, which puts profit ahead of everything else. Previously that culture has killed children. Now it is threatening the entire planet.