An overview of emissions trading and its prospects in Hong Kong

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-101
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


With the approval of the Chinese central government, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) decided to participate in a regional emissions trading (ET) pilot scheme in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. This scheme, instead of aiming to curb global warming, is geared mostly toward reducing air pollutant (that is, SO2, NOx, RSP, and VOCs) emissions by 20-55% by 2010, thus improving air quality in the region. Both the HKSAR and the Guangdong Provincial Governments will impose emission caps on their respective power plants in the region and allocate emissions credits to them. This study explores the background of this regional ET scheme and correlates it with the emissions reduction scenario to provide more details for assessing its applicability to Hong Kong and Guangdong Province. Although practicing ET in the PRD region presents many challenges, establishing an appropriate ET scheme is of paramount importance for Hong Kong, as well as other cities in the PRD region, to achieve a sustainable air quality. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Air pollution, Climate change, Emissions trading pilot scheme, Regional emissions trading