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|Saturday, September 16, 2000, updated at 21:46(GMT+8)|
Chinese Firms Pledge to Contribute to Ozone Layer ProtectionEight Chinese firms pledged Saturday they will cease to produce, use, import and export any ozone depleting substances (ODS) and related products in response to a United Nations appeal to protect the ozone layer.
On the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer today, the enterprises, including Shanghai Volkswagen Auto Co., Ltd., vowed to promote ozone-friendly technologies and practices to other companies.
Representatives of the enterprises signed the agreement at a ceremony observed by officials from the State Environmental Protection Administration of China, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as well as environmental officials from the Untied States, Australia and Japan.
Twelve other industrial firms are planning to phase out the use and production of the ODS, including the Haier Group Co., China's leading household electronics producer, who also launched an initiative calling on other Chinese enterprises to commit themselves to the move.
The appeal was made by UNEP to raise the awareness of industrial enterprises to protect the ozone layer, which shields mankind and other living things on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. The production and consumption of ODS in the past several decades have caused substantial damage to the ozone layer, as each of the ozone layer holes over the Antarctic and Arctic has exceeded 20 million square kilometers.
Among those present at the signing ceremony was Geoffey Tierney, an official with UNEP, who spoke highly of China's progress in cutting ODS production and consumption.
"China has not only reached the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) production and consumption freeze targets in 1999, but has also exceeded the control schedules mandated in the Montreal Protocol by, for example, reducing its halon consumption and production below the required levels," he said.
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