Joint HK-Guangdong initiatives include monitoring stations and saving energy Hong Kong and Guangdong authorities will launch a series of joint measures next year to tackle air pollution in the Pearl River Delta region. They include an air-quality monitoring network, a new cross-border panel to promote energy saving in factories, an emissions inventory, and development of an emissions trading scheme for fuel-burning power plants. Environmental chiefs from both sides met in Hong Kong yesterday to review progress of the implementation of the PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan and to discuss a detailed action plan for next year. Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung said there had been satisfactory progress after the two governments agreed to co-operate to achieve cleaner air. 'Both Guangdong and Hong Kong share the efforts of the important task of improving regional air quality, striving to protect public health and achieving the goal of sustainable development.' Dr Liao said the two sides would step up efforts next year with a series of joint initiatives. A regional network covering the PRD with 16 monitoring stations would come into operation in the first quarter of next year. Dr Liao said the stations, whose installation cost has not been revealed, would be located in areas such as traffic black spots, industrial zones and residential districts. They will keep track of changes in air quality throughout the region. 'We are still discussing the type of data from the monitoring network that could be published for public consumption. But we can assure you that it will not only contain figures,' she said. 'The network can also provide pictures as well as analysis. The volume of information we can provide the public with will really depend upon the handling capacity of the network.' A report will be commissioned for the development of an emissions trading pilot scheme for fuel-burning power plants in the region. Dr Liao said the report would be submitted to the two governments by mid-2006. 'The details of the pilot scheme will then be presented to the power plants in Hong Kong and Guangdong so that the prospective participants can identify their trading partners and draw up the emission trading agreements,' she said. A panel comprising government representatives will be set up to promote public education, the technology of energy-saving measures and clean production among the commercial and industrial sectors in the region. In addition, a PRD emissions inventory will be drawn up using findings of previous studies to evaluate changes in the air pollutant emissions of Hong Kong and Guangdong since 1997.