Reply To: CY Leung and Hong Kong air pollution


SCMP article, from 11 Feb 2014, includes:

Hong Kong's air quality to 'drastically improve' within five years, says Christine Loh

Environment undersecretary promises ambitious targets will be met, including banning all vehicles that don't meet emissions standards by 2016, as roadside pollution gets worse

Hong Kong’s air quality will show “drastic improvements” over the next four or five years and start to see “measurable results” in the second half of this year, undersecretary for environment Christine Loh Kung-wai says.

In the most confident pledge made by a senior government official about the fight against pollution, Loh told the South China Morning Post that the city is well on target to achieve landmark goals – such as a 20 per cent reduction in sulphur emissions – before 2020.

“There’s no question – we will meet these objectives,” said Loh, striking a markedly more positive tone than when she last spoke [1] to the Post in September. “Our whole vehicle fleet will be dramatically cleaner in about four or five years time.”

Recent government data indicates that roadside air quality is worsening, but the undersecretary said the situation will improve….

An HK$11.4 billion initiative to replace some 82,000 old commercial diesel vehicles was finally approved by the Legco financial committee last month and is to begin next month.

A scheme to replace catalytic convertors – devices which covert harmful emissions into less harmful ones – on 20,000 taxis and public light buses powered by LPG is expected to be approved by the summer, while a plan to retrofit some 1,400 franchised buses with selective catalytic reduction devices – which reduce harmful emissions – is also scheduled for legislative approval this year.

Loh expects legislation for a mandatory fuel switch, which will force all ocean-going vessels berthing at Hong Kong to switch to a lower-sulphur fuel, to be passed by Legco before the summer recess and to go into effect by early next year.