Guangdong puts focus on sustainable development

Guangdong is reviewing a proposal by the National Environmental Protection Supervision Committee to make environmental protection a top priority in the development of the Greater Bay Area. According to Chinese media, the provincial government will now work to compile and implement relevant policies, although the proposal suggests that a “centrally coordinated” body be set up among the 11 GBA cities, including the two SARs of Hong Kong and Macau.

The eco-environment within the Greater Bay Area still has some catch-up work to do compared to other Bay Areas around the world, the proposal pointed out. Here, every US$10,000 of GDP consumes 214.47 cubic meters of water, 30% more than the Tokyo Bay Area. Energy consumption per unit of GDP, meanwhile, is at least twice its peers in Japan and the US.

Moreover, local residents probably don’t need to be reminded that air quality around the GBA falls far behind its global counterparts, with an average annual concentration of PM2.5 roughly three times the international standard. And although great strides have been made in tackling water pollution in recent years, toxic water still accounts for nearly 10% of the GBA’s surface water.

The proposal calls for the development of a “world-class quality” eco-environment within the GBA.