Emissions Trading Hong Kong Essay

3080 words - 13 pages

can emissions trading clear HONg Kong's sky?Budget EssayWord Count: 2278TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………1WHAT IS EMISSIONS TRADING?..……………………………………………22.1 WHY EMISSIONS TRADING?.......................................................................23.0 ANALYSIS OF EMISSIONS TRADING PILOT SCHEME FOR HONGKONG AND ...view middle of the document...

Nevertheless, Hong Kong's air quality continues to worsen to 32 percent lower than the minimum standard set by the WHO, and currently the city does not even meet its own 1987 air quality standards (China Environment Forum, 2007). The Air Quality Objectives Concern Group (AQOCG) estimates 64,200 hospital admissions (176 per day), as well as 6.9 million annual trips to the doctor - one per resident of Hong Kong, are due to air quality-related illnesses (AQOCG, 2006: 10). Additionally, there are 1006 air pollution related deaths per year in Hong Kong. These serious health outcomes result in annual losses of over HK$2 billion in direct healthcare costs and productivity losses of HK$19 billion (AQOCG, 2006: 12).Hong Kong's poor air quality also threatens its status as the economic and financial hub of Asia. Merrill Lynch recently made the recommendation to investors to switch their real estate investments from Hong Kong to Singapore (a city with significantly cleaner air) as skilled professionals depart Hong Kong because of the dirty air (China Environment Forum, 2007).However, as the environmental situation worsens the Hong Kong people are attaching greater importance to environmental performance. According to the City University and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2006 sustainable development index, environmental protection is ranked second on Hong Kong resident's list of most important issues. Furthermore, sixty-five per cent of Hong Kong people say air pollution is their biggest concern in terms of environmental issues, double the thirty-three per cent who rated it as their top environmental concern three years earlier (SCMP, 2007a: A2).Recognizing the growing public concern over the dangers of unabated pollution, the financial secretary, Henry Tang, in recent budgets has expressed a need to promote environmental protection. Acting upon this the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province have recently signed a cross-border agreement on creating an emissions trading pilot scheme (SCMP, 2007b: A3). The scheme targets emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and respirable suspended particles from Thermal Power Plants. Under the scheme, governments will assign credits based on agreed pollution-reduction plans. Power companies, whose emissions fall under their quota, could sell the surplus to others who exceed their limit if given approval by the government (SCMP, 2007b: A3).The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value and worthiness of the proposed cross-border emissions trading pilot scheme. This will be achieved by firstly explaining emissions trading and why it is the preferred policy option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will be followed by an explanation and analysis of, the Hong Kong-Guangdong emissions trading scheme. Also, progress and results from other countries emissions trading schemes will be examined. Finally, potential outcomes of the proposed emissions trading pilot scheme will be discussed.WHAT IS...

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