|The Pearl River Delta region.|
The governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province in China will introduce emission caps for Hong Kong power plants, and tighten emission controls at major pollution sources in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). They also agreed to study the feasibility of advancing the implementation of more stringent vehicle emission standards in Mainland cities, and stepping up regular inspection of in-use vehicles.
In 2006, the Guangdong Provincial Government will seek to implement National III motor vehicle emission standards (on a par with Euro 3) in PRD cities while Hong Kong will implement Euro 4 standards in line with the EU in 2006.
The first phase of construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) trunk pipeline in Guangdong Province will be completed in 2006 and a number of LNG power plants are expected to be commissioned in phases, thereby reducing the PRD’s reliance on the more polluting fuel oil and coal.
Existing oil-fired and coal-fired power plants in Guangdong Province will continue to install flue gas desulfurization systems.
Located in the southern part of Guangdong Province, the Pearl River Delta (PRD) covers an area of 42,821 sq. km and is home to 47.8 million people. In 2001, its GDP reached US$101 billion and accounted for 8.7% of China’s total GDP. The PRD region contains the large cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou, and Jiangmen.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) sits at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. The combined GDP of Hong Kong and the PRD, at about US$265 billion in 2001, is greater than that of any other region in the Chinese mainland, and equivalent to that of Switzerland.
The PRD is China’s largest export base, especially in consumer goods. In 2001, the PRD accounted for 34 percent of China’s total exports.
Water and air pollution and deforestation are major environmental problems in the PRD.
The actions above are part of an agreement reached at the just-concluded sixth meeting of Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development & Environmental Protection in Guangzhou, a multi-year project spurred by earlier assessments of the worsening environmental situation.