Email from Clean Air Initiative for Asian cities:
Government press release here; you can add your views. Questionable whether health really is key goal in setting objectives, rather than not doing much that might cause ructions in big business whilst appearing to make an effort, and using WHO targets to help befuddle people - might sound good, but these can be far from WHO guidelines re pollutant levels that may be safe.
[quote]The Government today (July 23) launched a four-month public consultation on the Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) review.
Hong Kong Outdoors is among the associate members of the newly formed Clean Air Network - CAN. Info on CAN:
What is the Clean Air Network?
The Clean Air Network is an independent NGO being formed with the aim of encouraging the public to speak out on the health impacts of air pollution.
Yesterday, I went to the forum on proposals for Hong Kong's new Air Quality Objectives; there was presentation by Ove Arup (consultant paid by govt, to come up with new Air Quality Objectives). Began with presentation re proposals - which had been criticised in Legislative Council yesterday; and after a break, there was chance for people to ask consultants questions, and to make various points.
What of the proposals and discussion?
Ooh dear; I barely know where to start. But overall, the proposals are not science based, and do not make health the overriding factor in determining new Air Quality Objectives.
Proposed Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives Not Focused on Public Health
We were told improving public health was main aim of new objectives. Yet, this appeared to be a load of baloney. The info we were given in handouts barely mentioned health - just said there would be acute and chronic health benefits; nothing re numbers of deaths today, reductions anticipated. Health benefits seemed to be just included in some economic benefits figures - as if people are nothing but financial items, to be included in profit and loss accounts.
One of researchesrs from HK Univ School of Community Medicine stood up, and said he and colleagues had made estimates of numbers of people falling sick and dying with air of standard of objectives: figures for deaths/illness I noticed were higher than for 2007!!
Received today from Civic Exchange; seems well worth trying to get to the forum.
The Environmental Protection Department is planning to present its new air quality objectives (AQOs) to the public at an open forum on Friday 20th March (in the afternoon). This is very short notice, which will make it difficult for many people to come, especially as it is during business hours. So please try to hold this time slot open now if you plan to attend.
There's already a thread here in Pollution forum - Airborne particulates in Hong Kong - health risks. But, especially as Hong Kong Government doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that Dirty Air is Dangerous Air, perhaps useful for another thread, inc on health risks from air pollutants in general, and pollutants other than particulates.
Can but dream of this in Hong Kong!
City officials in South Jakarta must now cycle when performing their duties, in a move to help combat pollution and global warming, an official said Wednesday.
They can own a car and drive to work, but they must cycle when travelling to do their work, South Jakarta city spokesman Ahmad Sotar said.
"This is compulsory. Cycling will not only reduce pollution and global warming, but also promote good health," he added.
The Hedley Environmental Index is designed to monitor and publish in real-time the level of air quality and the economic costs of Hong Kong’s air pollution in terms of its public health impact and monetary value.
The Index has two functions:
Update: I went to the conference, thought it excellent, with strong mix of experts, inc from mainland China, Thailand, UK, US; also packed with around 500 people. Were brainy exchanges, much underlying passion - most evident when in groups for discussing potential solutions.
Only downsides being Secretary for the Environment Edward Lau appearing, nodding as some others talked [not the guy who said something re govt being little use here!], speaking and leaving without even taking a question; and near-absence of press.
The Hong Kong Government seems to be downplaying or misinformed about the health impacts of our air pollution, Chief Executive Donald Tsang has even said: “It is a question of visibility.”