Thursday, December 6, 2012

HK Updates: Emission reduction targets met (23 Nov, 2012)

Emission reduction targets met

November 23, 2012
Hong Kong has met 2010 emission-reduction targets jointly set with the Guangdong government, although volatile organic compound targets for the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone were not fully met. This was mainly because the zone's socio-economic development has far outpaced the originally anticipated growth rate.

This was revealed at the 12th Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development & Environmental Protection meeting in Guangzhou today.

The major pollutants in Hong Kong in 2010 were nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. The Government wants to reduce their emission by 10% and 25% in 2015.

To achieve these targets, the Government will implement some key measures. They include phasing out highly polluting commercial diesel vehicles; retrofitting Euro II and III franchised buses with selective catalytic-reduction devices; and, requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to using low sulphur fuel while at berth.

The major pollutants in the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone in 2010 were volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. About 900,000 tonnes of each were emitted. The Government wants to reduce the emission of these two pollutants by 10% and 18%.
Guangdong will also implement emission-reduction measures, including monitoring major enterprises' use of organic solvents; requiring thermal power plants to install low-nitrogen oxide and denitrification systems; and, promoting the conversion of oil-fired generating units into gas.

The two sides will conduct a review in 2015 to assess the state of socio-economic development at the time and emission-reduction progress, and will then finalise emission-reduction targets for 2020.

Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said the two sides have laid down these targets, and now Hong Kong needs the commitment of everybody - the Government, industries and trades, the transport sector, and the public – to meet them.

“In future, we will proactively liaise with the public, stakeholders, and relevant trades, to foster a consensus in the community for implementing control measures as soon as possible to improve air quality and protect public health.”

For the video:
On target:  Secretary for the Environment KS Wong (right) briefs the media on Hong Kong's emission-reduction targets.


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