Under scheme, some Chinese factories receive credits for incinerating harmful gases
Companies say that ban on trading credits leaves them little incentive to incinerate gases
Releasing HFC-23 gases into the atmosphere is not illegal, despite threat to environment
Xi and Obama said last month they agreed to work to reduce hydrofluorocarbon levels
A “climate bomb” of potent greenhouse gases 15,000 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide is set to be released by some of the world’s leading producers of refrigerants following a ban on climate credits.
The companies, the majority of them in China, argue that a ban on trading of climate credits for the incineration of HFC-23 makes it no longer financially viable to destroy the gas, which is a byproduct of a substance used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
A warning by the Environmental Investigation Agency in a report to be released on Monday will raise the pressure on China to ban such gases and end economic incentives for their production in multilateral talks.
Some 19 factories – 11 in China – making HCFC-22 have been receiving climate credits under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism for installing and operating incinerators to burn HFC-23 that is created during the manufacturing process, instead of venting it into the atmosphere. Facilities in developing countries can sell emission reduction credits to buyers in developed countries to allow the latter to meet their targets under the Kyoto protocol.