GUANGZHOU - Guangdong province will stop licensing vehicles that fail to meet the nation's stage III emission standard from July 1, according to a government statement released yesterday on its website.
The province also aims to introduce the more stringent stage IV emission standard for vehicle licensing in the highly developed and more polluted Pearl River Delta region, it said.
The province's environmental protection watchdog will soon reveal the categories of vehicles meeting the emission standards and the provincial government is already encouraging public transportation firms to meet higher emission standards ahead of schedule, it said.
China's current III standard, equivalent to the EU III standards, cuts vehicle pollutants by 30 percent compared to the previous standards, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). The standard was introduced at the end of 2005 first by big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and, in turn, smaller centers.
More than 7,000 types of vehicles meet the new standard, according to ministry figures.
Meanwhile, those vehicles not yet up to the stage III emission standard will be gradually fazed out.
"The move to stop licensing vehicles not up to the stage III emission standard is part of the province's scheme to deal with vehicle emission pollution," Chen Guangrong, deputy director of Guangdong environmental protection bureau, said yesterday.
According to Chen, vehicle emissions have become the largest air polluter in the province, with the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and inhalable particulate matter accounting for more than 50 percent of air pollutants.
"The province has more than 13 million vehicles and the number has been increasing very rapidly," Chen said. "If nothing were done, vehicle emission would threaten the province, especially the Pearl River Delta region, which has a denser population, more vehicles, faster industrial development and poorer air quality."
He said the province would impose different speed limits for different vehicles and restrict vehicles of lower emission standards on some roads.
And the province will modify the petrol supply in accordance with the enhancement of the vehicle emission standard while improving the mechanism for vehicle emission monitoring.
Ling Haiheng, an associate professor with South China Normal University and a potential car buyer, said he supported the government's move.
"Though a car of stage III emission standard can be more expensive, it is worthwhile," he said.