Report due on quality targets for delta's air

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 November, 2010, 12:00am

Environmental protection watchdogs from Hong Kong and Guangdong will co-publish a report evaluating their work over the past eight years and outlining the plan for the next five to 10 years.

The evaluation, by experts from both sides, will mainly focus on how well the measures taken to clean the air in the Pearl River Delta worked.

Chen Guangrong, deputy chief of the Guangdong department, said the evaluation would be one of the most comprehensive by both sides in the past nearly 10 years.

He said 2010 was the last year for Guangdong and Hong Kong to achieve goals set in 2002 to improve the air quality in the region and it was time to review the targets.

According to a joint statement signed in April 2002, Guangdong and Hong Kong agreed that using 1997 as the base year, they would try to reduce the emissions of sulphur dioxide by 39 per cent, nitrogen oxides by 20 per cent, respirable suspended particulates (PM10) by 55 per cent and volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 54 per cent in the delta area by the end of this year.

'I am confident that we can achieve all those tasks,' Chen said.

Guangdong had implemented many policies aimed at cleaning up polluters and had invested large amounts of money in thousands of projects welcomed by Hong Kong, he said.

Guangdong was also impressed by Hong Kong's efforts, 'such as managing vehicles and using more clean energy. We learned a lot'.

Chen declined to reveal further details of the report, including the date it would be published.

But he said that based on the evaluation and the instruction of the 12th Five-Year Programme, they would work out a new framework 'and regional co-operation will be one of our focuses in the future'.

Chen also praised the Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Management Plan, which became a popular pattern for environmental protection and was followed by other PRD cities, for the good air quality before and during the Asian Games, which began last Friday in Guangzhou.

Winds of change

The number of projects to reduce emissions introduced in the Pearl River Delta since 2004, according to provincial official Chen Guangrong: 17,100