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Environmental Targets Set For 2020

Olga Wong, SCMP – Updated on Jan 09, 2009

Governments in the delta should keep up their work to improve the region’s environment, the central government says. They should consider setting up a scheme to safeguard environmentally sensitive areas by compensating cities that slow their pace of development.

The report, from the National Development and Reform Commission, set environmental targets to be achieved by 2020. For example, it wants 80 per cent of water used by industry recycled and more than 90 per cent of urban sewage to be treated before discharge.

The commission also says cities must use energy more efficiently and reduce emissions of polluting gases, but does not set targets.

The commission urges Guangdong to improve water quality through better monitoring of discharges into its rivers. Wildlife corridors should be set up in environmentally sensitive areas near the Hong Kong border, it says.

Ng Cho-nam, associate professor of geography at the University of Hong Kong, said the idea of compensating cities for slowing development to protect the environment was not new on the mainland but had not previously been applied to Hong Kong.

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