Reduced carbon emissions, new waste and energy charges and more ‘clean energy’ public transport included in the government’s 2021-2025 environmental protection plan

Carbon emission reductions, new energy and waste charges and a big increase in the number of sustainable energy vehicles are proposed in the five-year Macao SAR environmental protection plan for 2021-2025 published today (Wednesday) by the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA).

Macao SAR’s second five-year economic and social development plan for 2021-2025 emphasizes that authorities will continue efforts to peak carbon emissions ahead of the previous target in 2030 and aim to make the city a “low carbon centre”. .

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng had earlier said the SAR would follow the country’s environmental goals of peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and becoming “carbon neutral” by 2060.

“In recent years, the risks posed by climate change have come ever closer to us, which is why importance and concern have been raised in environmental protection work. Our motherland, different countries and regions have successively made commitments to peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, so that green and low-carbon development is on an accelerated track,” notes the DSPA report.

The report points out that according to the national targets, the respective SAR emissions in 2025 must have a reduction of more than 55% compared to the levels reported in 2005 and calculated according to a ratio of CO2 emissions to gross domestic product.

The report indicates that in 2005 the SAR recorded a ratio of tons of CO2 per million patacas of GDP of 18.9. Using this amount as a reference, the default amount should be less than 8.5 (CO2 eq/tonne/million patacas).

The DSPA report notes that after the implementation of Macao’s Ten-Year Environmental Protection Plan (2010-2020), “some environmental problems have been alleviated, but new environmental problems continue to arise due to the change of
the global climate environment, the development of Macau’s social economy and the
the appearance of new pollutants.

As part of its plans to cut carbon emissions, the authorities expect 90% of local public buses to be moved by “new energy” by 2025, a huge increase from just 9% reported in 2020.

Inner Harbor Waste Paper Collection Station

Authorities also predict that the rate of electric vehicles among newly registered vehicles in the city will rise from 9.4% to something between 15 and 20% in 2025.

Other approaches will also include the constant revision of vehicle exhaust emission standards and new imported motorcycles and vehicles on the road, as well as the modernization of vehicle fuel rules and the strengthening of vehicle monitoring. engine whose pollutant emissions exceed the limit value.

The monitoring and management of air pollutant emissions in industrial establishments and businesses would also be improved, with standards and
legislation to optimize emissions from the main stationary sources of air pollution.

The Macao SAR government is also committed to actively promoting green building, introducing more green building elements into public works and, gradually, into private works.

At the same time, plans include boosting the application of renewable energy products or equipment such as solar photovoltaic in construction design, to reduce traditional energy consumption.

The Energy Conservation Fund for Environmental Protection would also be used to encourage companies to apply environmental protection and energy conservation technologies and conduct energy consumption audits. .

The plan also mentions encouraging financial institutions to develop “green finance”, with recent years having seen some state-owned groups and gambling operators issue green bonds through the local financial assets exchange in Chongwa (Macao).

A revision of the tariffs for the use of energy would also be prepared, with a proposal for a new tariff level to be advanced in order to penalize large energy consumers.

Regarding air quality, the DSPA report predicts that the percentage of days recorded each year at air quality monitoring stations with “good” or “normal” air quality will remain more than 85% the same, with an annual average concentration of PM2.5. per cubic meter to stay below 25 μg/m3, the intermediate target-2 established by the World Health Organization.

The plan recalls that the previous ten-year plan caused a drop in the
annual average concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), inhalable airborne particulate matter (PM10), fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), with general air quality in Macau registering an upgrade.

However, the annual average concentration of ozone (O3) would have gradually increased and caused the main impact on air quality in Macao.

“This situation is similar to the regional variation in the Pearl River Delta, therefore deserving of our attention and a solution,” the report adds.

The authorities are currently planning to impose air pollutant emission limits and industrial premises management standards for concrete manufacturing and boilers for industrial and commercial establishments within the next five years, and for air pollutants for waste incineration establishments.

A total of 5,000 new trees will also need to be planted until 2025, with 120 hectares of green space in the hills and local flora to be recovered.

The report also warns that following the rapid development of Macao’s social economy, the increase in population and number of tourists, the steady increase in the level of consumption and the democratization of the culture of the “disposable consumption”, the amount of different types of solid waste has increased significantly
and continuously.

“In particular, about 40 million m3 of construction waste after the start of construction material waste landfill, and the amount of solid waste in urban areas has also increased by more than 70% compared to 10 years ago. year. All of this has put an extremely heavy strain on Macau’s solid waste treatment.”

Centered on the “polluter pays” principle, the SAR government will promote an urban solid waste collection system, including the construction waste pricing system that has already been introduced, and consider a charging for the treatment of special and dangerous waste, in order to create the conditions for a future system of charging for household waste.

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