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Opening remarks of SEN at the Press Conference on the 2020 PRD Region Air Pollutant Emission Reduction Plan (with photo/video)

Following is the opening remarks of the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, at the press conference on the 2020 Pearl River Delta Region Air Pollutant Emission Reduction Plan held today (November 23):

     Welcome to the press conference today.  We and the Department of Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province held in Guangzhou the 12th meeting of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection (in short, we called it the Joint Working Group).  The meeting, held every year, is the highest discussion forum in respect of environmental collaboration of Hong Kong and Guangdong.

     In the meeting, both Hong Kong and Guangdong have reiterated that continuous improvement in the air quality of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region is an important part of the environmental collaboration and committed to continuing the efforts in reducing emissions.  Both governments have concluded the results of attainment of the 2010 emission reduction targets and endorsed the emission reduction targets of the next phase (i.e. up to 2020).

     We, Hong Kong side, announced on October 10 this year our attainment of the 2010 emission reduction targets. And in today¡¦s meeting, Guangdong announced the extent of its achievement of the 2010 emission targets.

     The efforts of the two governments in reducing emissions have borne fruits.  According to the monitoring results of the PRD Air Monitoring Network, from 2006 to 2011, the ambient levels of the various key pollutants in the region were reduced from 49% to 13% respectively, affirming the effectiveness of the joint efforts. Nevertheless, the regional air quality has much room for improvement.

     Since SO2, NO2, RSP and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are responsible for regional air pollution, the two governments will continue to focus on these four key pollutants when setting the emission reduction targets of the next phase.

     When formulating the 2020 Regional Air Quality Management Plan, the two governments agreed to set their own emission reduction targets for 2015 and 2020 on the basis of the 2010 emission levels and in consideration of their respective situations.  Hong Kong and Guangdong will jointly start a mid-term review after 2015 to assess the outcome of the emission reduction and to firm up the emission reduction targets for 2020.

     In today¡¦s meeting, the two governments endorsed the 2015 and 2020 emission reduction targets. Details are in the press release to be jointly issued by the two governments soon. Hong Kong will continue the implementation of the 22 air quality improvement measures. We will tighten various measures including the vehicle emissions related to heavily polluting diesel commercial vehicles.

     Lastly, I would like to point out that in order to get better air quality, all of us have to play a part in contributing to the improvement for better air quality and for better public health. We all have to contribute.

     Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the opening remarks.)

Ends/Friday, November 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:28


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