MAC: Mines and Communities

HK Urges Power Companies to Meet Emission Targets

Published by MAC on 2006-08-02

HK Urges Power Companies to Meet Emission Targets

PlanetArk CHINA

2nd August 2006

HONG KONG - Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang has warned the territory's two power companies to comply with emission reduction targets otherwise it might affect their bids to renew their licenses in 2008.

"It's important for everyone to remember that the emissions from power companies in Hong Kong are regarded as the main source of air pollution," Chief Executive Tsang said on Tuesday during a trip to Guangzhou city in southern China to discuss the cross border air pollution issue with Chinese officials.

He added that the power companies needed to clean up their act in order for Hong Kong to comply with an agreement on emission standards with the Guangdong government to cut air pollution levels by 2010.

"I'm determined to ensure that this standard will be 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," Tsang said.

The scheme of control is a contractual agreement between the Hong Kong government and the two local power companies -- CLP Holdings and Hong Kong Electric Holdings Ltd -- governing pricing and profitability.

With the agreement due to expire in 2008 -- green groups have pressed the Hong Kong government to force the power companies to comply with more stringent environmental standards -- as a pre-condition for renewal.

In recent years, Hong Kong's worsening air pollution has become a growing cause of concern, affecting public health and even scaring foreign businesses away from the territory.

Whilst coal-fired power companies are largely responsible for air pollution in the city, thousands of Hong Kong owned factories in the Pearl River Delta have also been blamed for the regular bad-air days plaguing the city.

By 2010, both Hong Kong and Guangdong have agreed to cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 40 percent among other targets, which Tsang quoted mainland officials as saying remained on track.


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