Climate Change

Environment not so great, DSPA report says

The state of Macau’s environment was not so great in 2023, the annual report from the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA), published yesterday, noted.

According to the report, the end of the pandemic and, thus, the resumption of economic activities, such as tourism, has increased the city’s pollution, according to main environmental indicators.

“The increase in social and economic activities has put strong pressure on various environmental indicators. The amount of urban solid waste, electricity consumption, and the volume of water billed have increased again,” the DSPA report noted. It added, “The average annual concentration of most air pollutants and the estimated values ​​of local air pollutant emissions have also increased.”

The DSPA put forward that figures recorded at Macau’s six air quality monitoring stations have shown that the average concentrations of air pollutants have all increased, compared to 2022.

“In 2023, Macau’s estimated GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions were dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2), representing 91.7% of the total. Nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) contributed, respectively, 5.4% and 2.9%. There was an increase in estimated emissions of all types of GHG compared to the previous year,” the report said. It added that, in 2023, the estimated local GHG emissions increased by around 20% year-on-year.

The report attributed the increases to emissions resulting from transport, waste incineration, and local electricity production sectors.

“In 2023, the main sources of GHG and CO2 emissions were, in decreasing order: land transport, local electrical energy production, waste incineration and commerce, domestic consumption and services. The main sources of CH4 emissions were waste deposited in landfills and wastewater treatment, while the last was also responsible for most of the N2O emissions.”

Nonetheless, the same governmental entity noted that, last year, the number of days with air quality classified as “Good” or “Moderate” reached 91% of all the days in the year.

The report said that, in 2023, only seven to 32 days were classified as having “unhealthy” air qualities, while the number of days classified as “very unhealthy” decreased to only one day.

The most significant types of pollutants detected at the air quality monitoring stations were fine suspended particles (PM2.5) and ozone (O3).

At the Environmental Station (Taipa), the highest index detected in the whole year was 209 and classified as “very unhealthy”, with O3 being the main pollutant.

The month with the best air quality was June; the worst was November.

Also related was the increase by 0.6 degrees Celsius of the average temperature in Macau (when compared with the climatic average value which includes the 30-year average between 1991 and 2020). This figure last year reached 23.4oC.

The number of very hot days was 32, which is similar to the average climate value.

On the other hand, there were 26 very cold days; that is, 13.1 days less than the average climate value.

Through critical indicators, the report points the way for improving Macau’s environment. It notes that “reducing emissions in the electricity and land transport sectors [can play] a key role in achieving peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality in Macau.”

Among the suggestions, the report says of energy: “The proportion of electrical energy produced by non-fossil sources and acquired abroad will gradually increase. Energy efficiency will be increased, and the promotion of the installation of photovoltaic systems will be reinforced. At the same time, the feasibility of introducing new technologies will be studied, such as carbon capture and hydrogen energy in the production of electrical energy.”

The report suggested the land transport sector promote the use of electric vehicles and improve infrastructure and charging facilities in conjunction with the encouragement of citizens to choose sustainable means of transport, such as public transport and walking, “to achieve a significant reduction in GHG emissions.”

The improvement of waste treatment facilities and their transformation into resources is also a bid that the DSPA says will “create more convenient conditions for carrying out recycling, strengthening the control of ozone pollution and coastal water pollution, among others.”


Organic Waste Recovery Center receives support of MOP720m over 15 years

The concessionaire of the Organic Waste Recovery Center that soon will start construction in the land plot beside the current construction landfill in Cotai will receive governmental financial support of MOP720,108 over the whole 15-year period of the concession, to be paid in monthly installments.

Such financial assistance is justified in the contract celebrated between the government and the consortium that will build and explore the facility as a guarantee of income aimed at maintaining the economic-financial balance of the contract during the operation phase, the summary of the contract published yesterday in the government’s official gazette said.

The contract also states that the concessionaires will pay to the government 30% of the revenue from the facility’s sale of energy, as well as the resulting residues for recycling, among other subproducts.

The construction will cost MOP1.15 billion and will have to be concluded in 38 months.

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