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Officials Confident On Emissions

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Updated on Dec 19, 2008

Hong Kong and Guangdong are confident of reaching the 2010 emission-reduction targets, and both sides will prepare to set new post-2010 targets next year, Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said yesterday.

Speaking after the ninth meeting of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection, Mr Yau said both sides had made good progress towards the emission targets. Hong Kong had introduced measures to improve vehicle emissions and move towards cleaner energy production while Guangdong had done a great deal to lower industrial emissions, he said.

The 2010 targets aim to reduce the four key pollutants – nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), respirable suspended particles (RSP) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). A target has been set for both sides to reduce emissions well below 1997 levels by 2010, cutting NOx to 20 per cent below the 1997 level, SO2 to 39 per cent below, VOC to 54 per cent and RSP 55 per cent.

“Next year is an important year during which we will not just revisit our work to clean up the air, but also prepare for setting out the future direction beyond 2010,” Mr Yau said.

He said they would continue to co-operate to promote clean production in the Pearl River Delta, and the focus next year would be collaboration with local authorities in Guangdong.

Mr Yau said both sides shared views on the plans to transform the delta into a green, quality living area, and they would strive to incorporate those ideas into the mainland’s next five-year plan.

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