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Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network results for 2021 released
     Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao jointly released today (July 6) a report on air quality in 2021 under the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network, indicating continuous improvement of air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
     The regional air quality monitoring network commenced operation in November 2005. Compared with 2006, the average annual concentration levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), respirable suspended particulates (RSPs) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2021 decreased by 84 per cent, 45 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. The monitoring of carbon monoxide (CO) and fine suspended particulates (FSPs) was introduced into the monitoring network in September 2014, with their average annual concentration levels decreasing by 18 per cent and 28 per cent respectively in 2021 when compared with those in 2015. On the other hand, the 2021 average annual concentration level of ozone (O3) increased by 34 per cent when compared with that in 2006, indicating that further alleviation of regional photochemical pollution is required. The average annual concentration levels of the above six air pollutants since 2006 are shown in the Annex.
     To continually improve regional air quality, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Guangdong Provincial Government have long been committed to reducing emissions of air pollutants from major emission sources. The two governments are conducting a study on post-2020 regional air pollutant emission reduction targets and concentration levels, with a view to formulating air pollutant emission reduction targets/levels for 2025 and 2030. In addition, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have launched a three-year study from 2021 to 2024 on "Characterisation of Photochemical Ozone Formation, Regional and Super-Regional Transportation in the Greater Bay Area" to study the details of the origins of ozone precursors, their formation mechanism and regional and super-regional transportation characteristics in the Greater Bay Area.
     The HKSAR Government has implemented various air pollutant emission control measures on marine and land transport, power plants and non-road mobile machinery to enhance air quality, and announced in 2021 the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles, the Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035 and Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2050, setting out a variety of measures and striving to achieve zero vehicular emissions and carbon neutrality in Hong Kong before 2050. The HKSAR Government is progressively implementing measures of the roadmap and blueprints, which include promoting the use of electric vehicles and other new-energy vehicles, green transport, zero‑carbon energy and other environmental protection measures conducive to continuously improving the air quality of Hong Kong.
     Guangdong Province established a list of key volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitting industries (2021 edition) to implement differentiated hierarchical management on the key VOCs emitting enterprises, put forward the construction of an automatic monitoring system for vapour recovery, establish a hierarchical management system for controlling the air pollution from industrial furnaces, and promote clean energy conversion in steel and aluminium industries as well as low-emission reconstruction of iron and steel industries. Guangdong Province also took forward the electrification of public transport, enhanced the emission control of in-use diesel vehicles by strengthening the site inspection of large vehicle fleets and delineating restricted areas for smoky vehicles, and continued to take forward the construction of the "Air Ground Vehicle People" integrated monitoring system. All cities across the province have completed the delineation of restricted areas for high-emission non-road mobile machinery, established a joint prevention and control mechanism for illegally refined oil rectification, fully supplied gasoline and diesel for vehicles with the National VI standards, and accomplished the "three-oil integration" of vehicle diesel, ordinary diesel and inland marine fuel with a sulphur content below 10 parts per million.
     The Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) rolled out a series of air quality improvement measures to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources in accordance with relevant initiatives laid down in the second Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of the Macao SAR (2021-2025) and its policy objectives. Such measures include continuously optimising and raising the emission limits for exhaust gases from vehicles, phasing out obsolete high-polluting motorcycles, promoting the use of electric vehicles and completing related ancillary facilities, implementing import controls on architectural paints containing high VOCs contents, and continuously taking forward research on reducing the emission of VOCs. Meanwhile, Macao has progressively introduced air pollutant emission standards and regulations for various key industrial and commercial sites, including cement manufacturing industrial sites, sewage treatment plants, pharmaceuticals manufacturing sites, copper clad laminate manufacturing and plastic processing industrial sites, oil depots, power plants, concrete manufacturing industrial sites, industrial and commercial boilers, and petrol filling stations, in an orderly manner to gradually strengthen the emission controls of stationary air pollution sources.
     The regional air quality monitoring network, comprising a total of 23 air monitoring stations in Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao, monitors six major air pollutants (i.e. SO2, NO2, O3, RSPs, FSPs and CO). The Ecological and Environmental Monitoring Centre of Guangdong, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of Hong Kong, the Macao Environmental Protection Bureau and the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau are responsible for the co-ordination, management and operation of the monitoring stations of the three sides, the release of quarterly statistical summaries and annual monitoring reports, and analysis of long-term pollution trends. Members of the public can visit the website of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Regional Air Quality Monitoring Information System, or the websites of the Department of Ecology and Environment of Guangdong Province (gdee.gd.gov.cn), the EPD of Hong Kong (www.epd.gov.hk), the Macao Environmental Protection Bureau (www.dspa.gov.mo) or the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (www.smg.gov.mo) for the relevant annual reports and quarterly monitoring statistics.
Ends/Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:19
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