Emissions trading scheme will help companies cut pollution and will not harm their interests, says Donald Tsang The planned emissions trading scheme is designed to help power companies reduce pollution and will not hurt the electricity suppliers' interests, the chief executive said yesterday. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen reminded the two Hong Kong suppliers - identified as the city's biggest polluters - that they had a responsibility to cut emissions. He was determined to get this done when reviewing the way the power sector is regulated. 'I have not heard them say anything' about emissions trading, Mr Tsang said, speaking a day after media reports said CLP Power and Hongkong Electric feared the scheme could lead to Hong Kong subsidising Guangdong polluters. 'The emissions trading scheme has been designed to help them meet the emission reduction targets at a minimal cost. It is up to them to decide whether or not to adopt these new measures. If they choose to adopt other measures, it will cost them more money.' The scheme, which will probably require Hong Kong power operators to invest in cleaning up their mainland counterparts to earn tradeable emission credits, will be discussed at today's meeting of the Guangdong-Hong Kong Co-operation Joint Conference. Both sides are studying a preliminary emissions trading framework covering areas such as emissions data monitoring and how the exchange should be governed. Mr Tsang said it was important for everyone to remember CLP Power and Hongkong Electric were the main source of air pollution. It was essential for them to comply with emissions requirements. 'I am determined to ensure that this standard is fully complied with by the power companies. And I will consider it in the context of the renewal of the scheme of control, which will expire in 2008,' he said. 'It is important. No one can ignore it. But as far as the emissions trading scheme is concerned, this is designed to help them, not to stand in their way.' Guangdong Yudean, a large power producer in the province which owns and operates a dozen power plants, said it would consider the emissions trading scheme if it was in the public interest. 'If it contributes to society and we are able to deliver our responsibility, we will join it,' Pan Li, chairman of the Yudean board, said after Mr Tsang visited the group's Shajiao power plant in Dongguan . Apart from the power plants, Mr Tsang said he also understood the issues facing manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta region who needed to upgrade environmentally to cope with new mainland policies. He said it was the common goal for Guangdong and Hong Kong to achieve better air quality and was confident that they would meet the 2010 emission reduction targets, even though it was a huge challenge for the province, given the large number of manufacturing plants in the region.