On its work in controlling ozone-depleting substances (ODSs), Taiwan has always abided by the Montreal Protocol to align with the pace of advanced countries in cutting down ODS production and consumption. Both the government and industries have successfully achieved the protocol's production and consumption limits by formulating reduction strategies accordingly. For instance, Taiwan has reached zero halon (haloalkane) consumption since 1994.
Taiwan has placed on its regulatory list all of the ODSs listed in the Montreal Protocol’s Annexes A, B, C, and E. In 1993, these substances were announced for control in the Regulations Concerning Control of Chemical Substances Listed for Control by the Montreal Protocol (管制蒙特婁議定書列管化學品作業要點) composed by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Chemicals, divided into nine major categories, have also been added to the regulatory list afterwards, based on the Montreal Protocol’s agreements. The Chemical Substances Control List has detailed categorizations, substance names, chemical formulas, and their potential ozone-depleting index.
On the production or consumption of regulated chemical substances, the Montreal Protocol sets different reduction plans that include
＜Baseline level＞ usually, a regulated chemical substance’s production or consumption amount in a specific year
＜Freezing schedule＞ the time taken to lower a regulated chemical substance’s production or consumption amount to less than the baseline amount
＜Reduction percentage＞ the time taken to lower a regulated chemical substance’s production or consumption amount to a certain percentage of the baseline amount
＜Conditions for exemption＞ conditions in which chemical substances can be exempted from production or consumption regulations
According to Montreal Protocol regulations for developed countries (Non-Annex V countries), Taiwan's National Complete Reduction Schedule has been formed based on the focuses above. Other relevant reduction measures are also set based on these focuses.
Out of the Montreal Protocol’s regulated chemical substances, Taiwan only produces hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in Production Table C under Category 1. The production freezing schedule of substances in this category began in 2004, so Taiwan’s past control of HCFC production complied with the Protocol.
Formosa Plastics, the only manufacturer of HCFCs in Taiwan, stopped producing HCFC-141b and HCFC-142b in 2004. Its production of HCFC-22 only reached 80 ozone-depletion-potential (ODP) tons of HCFC-22 in 2005, and all production has been terminated as of June 2005. It marked the end of Taiwan’s HCFCs and ODS production in 2006.
For consumption, the government and industry have been working hard to meet the Montreal Protocol’s requirements. Consumption goals for many chemical substances were reached before 1996. Significant moments in the reduction journey include:
- haon has been at zero consumption since 1994
- consumption of methy bromide has been regulated since 1 Jan 1995
- CFCs, carbon tetrachoride, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane have been below-zero consumption since 1996
- HCFC alocations became effective on 1 Jan 1996 to freeze its consumption, set to reach zero by 1 Jan 2030
Reduction results: Analysis of ODS consumption in 2019
Complying with the Montreal Protocol, Taiwan has reported its ODS consumption data to the UN since 1994, which is the total of imports plus production minus exports.
Taiwan’s CFC consumption has been at zero since 1996, the level required of parties to the Montreal Protocol. That year HCFC consumption was also frozen, stopping at 84% of Taiwan’s baseline level. National HCFC consumption was 382.51 ODP tons in 2004 (65% of the baseline level required by the protocol), 152.56 ODP tons in 2020 (25%), and 59.35 ODP tons in 2015 (10%). The 63.119 ODP tons of HCFC consumption in 2019 was 0.680 ODP tons less than that in 2018. Image 1 shows Taiwan’s declining consumption of HCFCs over the years.
Measures to effectively cut down consumption include allocations and bans for specific uses in different stages. Effective bans so far include: all types of HCFCs in aerosol propellants and foaming agents in manufacturing processes; HCFC-141b in solvents or cleaning agents in the manufacturing processes; filling HCFC-22 coolants in the manufacture of new refrigerating or air conditioning equipment or new construction; and so on. Moreover, HCFCs have been banned since 1 Jan 2020 as coolant fillings in the manufacture of new refrigerating and air conditioning equipment and new construction. The goal was to lower the consumption to 0.5% of the baseline level and restrict its applications. Such practices will result in much fewer imports and limit the demand from domestic refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, leading to further reduction.
Regarding production of ODSs, Taiwan has stopped producing CFCs since 1996 and HCFCs and all ODSs as of 2006. As for imports in 2019, only 1039.223 metric tons (56.497 ODP tons) of HCFC-22, 320.000 metric tons (6.520 ODP tons) of HCFC-123, small amounts of HCFC-124 (4.360 metric tons, or 0.096 ODP tons) and HCFC-225 (0.250 metric tons, or 0.006 ODP tons) were imported.
In 2019, Taiwan exported only 12 metric tons (0.660 ODP tons) of HCFC-22, 7 metric tons (0.385 ODP tons) more than it did in 2018. The continuous export of HCFC-22, even with reduced domestic production, is estimated to be used for maintenance and coolant refills of refrigerating equipment on board fishing vessels operating offshore. On the other hand, methyl bromide imported after 1999 has been used only for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) purposes. There were 28.826 metric tons (12.616 ODP tons) imported in 2019, 20.276 metric tons less than in 2018.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Mar 2021