Greening the Pearl River Delta
Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong SAR
Guangdong Province is China's economic powerhouse. Leading the country in terms of exports and GDP has come at a cost—over the past several years Guangdong Province has recorded its worst air pollution in decades despite continued government promises to address the problem. Guangdong also confronts serious water pollution due to poorly regulated industries and a very low rate of municipal wastewater treatment. In 2006, slightly more than 40 percent (22 million) of Guangdong's rural population did not have access to safe drinking water. These poor air and water quality trends represent serious threats to economic growth and human health in Guangdong and in neighboring Hong Kong. Secretary Yau will talk about Hong Kong's engagement with Guangdong as part of the Hong Kong government's effort to improve the environment in the whole Pearl River Delta (PRD). Guangdong and Hong Kong have agreed to build a "green PRD quality living area." Earlier this year, the National Development and Reform Commission announced the development outline for Guangdong (2008-2020), which sets out the green vision among other aspects of development. Hong Kong is working with Guangdong on the specific aspects of the use of clean energy, cleaner production and circular economy, in addition to the traditional areas of co-operation such as improving air quality and emissions reduction.
Location: 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room