The last six Chinese producers of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon have agreed to stop producing the chemical.
The six factories signed a deal with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) in Changshu, east Jiangsu Province Saturday.
The move marks that China has honored its promise to phase out CFC two and a half years ahead of the schedule in the Montreal protocol on banning ODS, said an SEPA official.
A total production capacity of 122,000 tons will be phased out according to the deal signed by the SEPA, China National Chemical Construction Company and the six factories, two in Jiangsu and four in Zhejiang.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the World Bank, the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the United Nations Environment Program and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are used in refrigeration and air conditioning and have been identified as the main substance damaging the ozone shield.
The ozone layer shields the earth from the harmful ultraviolet-B radiation of the sun. It also completely screens out lethal UV-C radiation.
Under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, developed countries have agreed to phase out the chemicals by Jan. 1, 2005, while developing countries have a Jan. 1, 2015 deadline.
China had pledged to phase out major ODS production and consumption by 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2007)