In recent years, China has actively participated in various important international environmental projects, and is playing an increasingly important role in the fields of international environmental protection. Since 1994, when the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change went into effect, China has always adhered to a principled stance in international negotiations and effectively upheld the legitimate rights and interests of China and other developing countries. According to the stipulations in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, all the signatory countries should gradually reduce their use of freon and other substances that deplete the ozone layer. China has actively developed freon substitutes with UN multilateral funds for ozone layer protection. At present, some technologies developed by China have reached the internationally advanced levels, enabling China to meet the standards stipulated by the convention ahead of schedule. Freon substitutes developed by China and freon-free refrigerators and air-conditioners made in China have been exported and well received by consumers in Europe and America.
Environmental protection departments of the Chinese government have actively made use of technologies and funds provided by international financial institutions and environmental organizations. Since 1992, when the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) was established, China has used a total of US$ 230 million provided by that organization. This made China the biggest beneficiary of the GEF. Protection of water resources and city environment has always been a focus of the World Bank’s investment in China’s city construction. Since 1985, the World Bank has supported about 30 projects in China’s city infrastructure construction, providing loans of about US$ 5 billion and a total investment in excess of US$ 10 billion. Nearly half of the investment was used in construction of facilities for collection, treatment and disposal of city sewage and relevant organizations in 11 provinces and the four municipalities. At the end of 2001, the Acid Rain Control and Environmental Protection Program for Anhui Province in central China, received a loan of US$ 147 million from the Asian Development Bank.