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Hong Kong to tighten power plant emission limits as part of effort to tackle air pollution

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong on Friday announced new targets in its bid to cut emissions from power plants, part of an ongoing effort to tackle air pollution in the Chinese city that is regularly covered in smog.

The government said it aims to slash emissions of three of the five main air pollutants measured by authorities by between 6 and 17 percent from 2017, compared to their 2015 targets announced two years ago.

The power generation sector accounts for 50 percent of the city's sulfur dioxide (SO2), 25 percent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 16 percent of respirable suspended particulates (RSP) emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Department.

“The tightened emission allowances will help improve the air quality in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region,” a department spokesman said.

“The new emission caps will require the power companies to continue their efforts to use low-emission coal as far as possible.”

The new targets were announced as Hong Kong recorded “very high” pollution levels over the past week, which triggered an official health warning for those with respiratory illnesses to reduce outdoor activities.

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