Hong Kong will allocate an extra HK$150 million (US$19.35 million) to extend the Cleaner Production Partnership Program and encourage Hong Kong-owned factories in Guangdong province to adopt cleaner production technologies, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Wednesday in his Policy Address.
The program was launched in 2008 with an allocation of HK$93 million in collaboration with the Economic and Information Commission of Guangdong province.
It was extended for two years in 2013 with a further funding of HK$50 million after achieving positive environmental benefits and receiving good feedback from the industry.
Leung said the government will introduce legislation to require ocean-going vessels to switch to low-sulphur diesel when berthed in Hong Kong.
He said his administration is working with authorities in Guangdong to expand the scheme to the Pearl River Delta region.
Also, low-emission zones will be set up in Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok by the end of the year.
In addition, franchised bus companies will begin tests on single-deck electric buses in mid-2015, he said.
Hong Kong air quality has been improving since 2010, with annual average concentrations of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates falling 8 percent, 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
However, ozone concentrations have risen 18 percent, mainly due to “regional changes”.
Leung promised to cut electricity consumption for government buildings by 5 percent in the coming five years.
Greenpeace campaigner Yeung Man-yau told EJ Insight the government target is below the average reduction of about 2 percent annually by many property developers.
Energy audits will be conducted on major government facilities to improve their energy-saving performance, Leung said.
– Contact us at [email protected]