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Jail for company boss in first Chinese CFC11 case

CHINA: The head of a company producing thermal insulation has been jailed in China’s first successful court case involving the illegal use of ozone-depleting substances.

Qi Moumou, referred to as the legal representative of Minghe Thermal Insulation Material Co in Huzhou city, was also fined RMB50,000 ($7,000) and the company fined RMB700,000 ($98,000) for illegally using CFC11. 

This case follows a crackdown by Chinese authorities after green group the Environmental Investigation Agency uncovered evidence in 2018 that China’s polyurethane foam sector was the cause of large increases in CFC11 observed in the atmosphere.

Thirty or more years ago, CFC11 was commonly used as a refrigerant and in the foam insulation sector. Under the Montreal Protocol, countries agreed to phase out CFC production by 2010, and since 2006 countries have reported close to zero production of CFC11.


China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment claims that between June and August 2019, special ODS enforcement actions were conducted nationwide. Eleven working groups carried out special inspections in key ODS provinces and cities. 

The unannounced inspection of the Minghe Company found that it had illegally purchased and used 849.5 tons of CFC11 to produce polyether in the past three years. 

Four other people from Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu provinces, who supplied the substance to Minghe, were also arrested. 

In addition to the fine, the authorities also recovered more than RMB1.4m ($196,000) of company profit from the crime. 

Related stories:

CFC11 “widely produced” in China – 25 June 2018
USA: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) claims to have evidence that illegal CFC11 is being widely produced and used in China. Read more…

Scientists pinpoint major source of CFC11 emissions – 22 May 2019
UK: An international team of atmospheric scientists has pinpointed eastern China as the major source of the rise in emissions of ozone depleting CFC11 first reported last year. Read more…

China promises crackdown on CFC11 – 4 August 2018
CHINA: Chinese authorities have announced a crackdown on the illegal use and production of ozone-depleting substances, including CFC11. Read more…

Action promised to stop CFC11 use – 18 July 2018
AUSTRIA: The delegates to last week’s Montreal Protocol meeting have promised “a sweeping response” to evidence of a rise in CFC11 emissions. Read more…

CFC11 in China a “massive crime” – 9 July 2018
AUSTRIA: A shocking new report suggests the illegal production and use of the long-banned ozone-depleting chemical CFC11 is common practice in China. Read more…

Mysterious rise in CFC11 emissions – 16 May 2018
USA: An ozone depleting CFC refrigerant, thought to be virtually extinct following Montreal Protocol phase outs, has mysteriously reappeared in increasing amounts in the atmosphere. Read more…

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