Control of Hydrofluorocarbons Contributing to Carbon Emission Reduction
To fulfil the international obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol), Hong Kong enacted the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance in July 1989 to prohibit the manufacture of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and impose control on the import and export of ODS through registration and licensing provisions. ODS, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), have been progressively phased out in accordance with the phase-out schedule set out under the Montreal Protocol.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were introduced as non-ozone depleting alternatives to support the phase-out of CFCs and HCFCs. They are now widely used as refrigerants in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and also used as fire suppressants in fire protection. Although they do not deplete the ozone layer, some of the HFCs are strong greenhouse gases, contributing significantly to global warming. Aiming at protecting the climate, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was passed and entered into force in 2019 to progressively phase down the manufacture and consumption of HFCs.
The Government is working on the regulatory proposal to phase down the use of HFCs in Hong Kong, which will not only enable Hong Kong to fulfil its international obligations under the Kigali Amendment but also contribute to the global efforts in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our climate system.