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Green industries rise to protect environment

terça-feira, novembro 05, 2019

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The frenetic race to curb environmental pollution in China, particularly at the Greater Bay Area, had given rise to the exponential growth of the environmental protection industry, as most cities aim to have blue skies regularly, not just several days a year.

The problem of environmental pollution took center stage at the Eco Expo Asia recently held in Hong Kong and showed how some cities are coping and what steps are being taken to tame pollution.

The green event, which allowed environment friendly companies and startups to showcase new technology and innovation, also provided the stage on which representatives of a number of cities in the Greater Bay Area, companies and government agencies discussed environmental protection and laid bare their plans and measures to curb air and water pollution.

The Greater Bay Area links Hong Kong, Macao, and nine municipalities of Guangdong province — Guangzhou, Shenzen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing. Also known as the Pearl River Delta, the area is a megalopolis that hosts major industries.

Since its inception in 1973, the environmental protection industry had grown to a giant business that in 2016, the value added of Hong Kong’s environmental industry was HK$8.4 billion. Government officials in China and industry leaders agree that the potential of the environmental protection industry is so vast and will grow more in the coming years.

For this reason, the Guangdong- Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Environmental Industry Alliance was launched on Oct. 30, 2019.

Ou Yuezhou, chairman of the Guangdong Association of Environmental Protection Industry, admitted that despite the growth of the industry, companies and the government have to do more to ensure a sustainable environment.

“To protect the environment we should do a better job. We cannot protect the environment without developing the environmental protection industry,” he said during a seminar at the Eco Asia Expo.

He stressed the need for more innovation to allow factories to adopt cleaner production technologies to protect the environment.

David Lo, senior consultant of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, said that to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC)that cause industrial smog, factories need to change their systems, turn to automation and adopt cleaner production measures.

Lo said that in Hong Kong, factories are given subsidies to enable them to install hardware and systems to reduce VOCs. These factories have either eliminated pollution at the source, adopted reduce and reuse policies or end of pipe treatment.

According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the environmental protection industry in the former British colony focuses on six business areas — water conservation and pollution control, air and odor pollution control, energy conservation, waste treatment, disposal and recycling, noise control and mitigation and environmental consulting services.

The biggest market of these environment industries is mainland China. The International Energy Agency said the biggest destination of global energy investments is mainland China, which continues to wage war on air, water and soil pollution.

In Hong Kong, the environmental protection industry is also a major employer. In 2016, employment figures reached 44,300, or 1.3 percent of the region’s tota employment.

To keep the growth momentum in the environment protection industry, the government provides funding support to environmental technology-related research and development projects. Under the Innovation and Technology Fund, 80 projects that are mostly devoted to the development of clean technology have been given funding aid amounting to HK155 million.

Hong Kong’s Science and Technology Parks also provide facilities and equipment to boost the development of green technology, particularly on building energy sufficiency, alternative energy, waste disposal and recycling, green electronics and environmental solutions.

The launch of the Guangdong- Hong Kong- Macau Greater Bay Area Environmental Industry Alliance signaled closer cooperation and interaction that would further push the campaign for a cleaner environment in the Greater Bay Area. However, the success, or failure of the campaign will not be limited to the area, it will also be felt elsewhere.

“When water is polluted, it affects everyone, everywhere,” Rakesh Vazirani, director of TUV Rheinland Group, a global leader in industry services, product safety, and transportation, said. Leena Chua

Page: Manila Times

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