Guangzhou will implement a new vehicle exhaust emission standard this year to improve the environment, local media reported yesterday.
The Guangzhou Municipal Government has handed in a detailed plan to the State Council for approval to implement the State Phase III exhaust emission standard this year, the city's environmental protection bureau said.
Compared to the State Phase II standard implemented in Guangzhou last July, the Phase III standard requires vehicles to reduce exhaust emission by half, according to the bureau.
If approved by the State Council, the city government will ask all the new vehicles in the market to install an on-board diagnostics (OBD) system, which will check for problems in the emission control system.
However, the bureau did not say what plans the government had for old vehicles.
In Beijing, registration for vehicles that didn't meet the State Phase III standard was stopped after Dec. 30, 2005.
A new vehicle would cost 1,000 (US$125) to 2,000 yuan more because of the OBD system, said Liu Chao, a department chief of the Guangzhou environmental protection bureau. Liu said the government was discussing whether the extra cost could be subsidized.
Guangzhou's air pollution comes mainly from coal-powered plants and vehicles with heavy exhaust emissions, the New Express reported, citing Professor Hua Ben from South China University of Technology.
With the introduction of liquefied natural gas this year, air pollution caused by burning coal will be gradually eradicated. The city should focus more on vehicle emissions, Hua said.
Although the State Phase III standard brings good news for the city's environment, the government should do more for old vehicles that don't meet the standard, he said.
Even those vehicles meeting the new standard can increase their exhaust emission if driven at a very low speed, Hua said. He suggested the government should thus improve road traffic.
(Shenzhen Daily February 7, 2006)