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Author: Antonio Da Roza

Date: 5/8/10


As part of its consultation on the review of the Air Quality Objectives, the Hong Kong Government proposed a total of 36 measures, to be implemented in 3 phases, for the purposes of reducing air pollution emissions in Hong Kong. [1]

Phase 1

The first phase of measures for emissions control and reduction includes:

Emission Capping and Control

1. Increasing the ratio of natural gas in local electricity generation to 50% together with additional emission abatement measures

2. Early retirement of aged/heavily polluting vehicles (pre-Euro, Euro I and Euro II commercial diesel vehicles and franchised buses)

3. Earlier replacement of Euro III commercial diesel vehicles with models meeting latest Euro standards

4. Wider use of hybrid/electric vehicles or other environment-friendly vehicles with similar performance (20% privates cars and 10% buses including franchised buses)

5. Ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) for local vessels

6. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for local vessels

7. Electrification of aviation ground support equipment

8. Emission control for off-road vehicles/equipment

9. Strengthening volatile organic compounds control

Transport Management

10. Low emission zones

11. Car-free-zone/pedestrianisation scheme

12. Bus route rationalization

Infrastructure Development and Planning

13. Expand rail network

14. Cycling network to major public transport hubs

Energy Efficiency Measures

15. Mandatory implementation of Building Energy Codes

16. Energy efficiency standards for domestic electrival appliances

17. Light-emitting diode or equivalent alternatives for traffic signal/street lighting

18. Tree planting/roof-top greening

19. District cooling system for Kai Tak Development

Phase 2

The second phase of measures for emissions control and reduction includes:

Emission Capping and Control

20. Increasing the ratio of natural gas in local electricity generation to 75% with additional abatement measures (Additional to Phase I measure)

21. Increasing the ratio of renewable energy (2% wind energy)

22. Wider use of hybrid/electric vehicles or other environment-friendly vehicles with similar performance [30% private cars, 15% buses (including franchised buses), 15% light goods vehicles (LGV) plus 15% heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)] (Additional to Phase I measure)

23. Ultra low suphur diesel for ocean-going vessels and local vessels (additional to Phase I measure)

24. Selective catalytic reduction for ocean-going vessels and local vessels (Additional to Phase I measure)

25. Electrification of on-shore power supply

26. Tightening aviation emission standards

27. Further strengthening volatile organic compounds control

Transport Management

28. Electronic road pricing (ERP)/congestion charging scheme for Hong Kong Island North

29. Reduce parking provision (25%) to restrain car usage for Central

Energy Efficiency

30. District cooling system (35% in existing areas and 90% in other new development areas)

Phase 3

The third phase of measures for emissions control and reduction includes:

Emission Capping and Control

31. Increasing the ratio of natural gas in local electricity generation to 100% (Additional to Phase II measure)

32. 50% nuclear power and 50% natural gas (Alternative Case compared to Base Case of 75% natural gas)

33. Wider use of hybrid/electric vehicles or other environment-friendly vehicles with similar performance (50% private cars, 50% buses (including franchised buses), 50% HGVs plus 50% LGVs) (additional to Phase II measure)

34. Vehicle permit quota system (to reduce around 50% PC and 50% motorcycle)

35. Use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles or equivalent alternatives (40% penetration)

Infrastructural Development and Planning

36. Rail for transport of cross-boundary goods

Implementation of measures

Electricity tariff, transport fares and operational costs of transport trade have been highlighted by the Government as areas where costs for these measures may have to be borne.


Some of the measures call for large capital investment, new approaches to infrastructure development and new legislation.


The benefit of these measures is anticipated at $1,228 million annually due to improved public health and savings in energy costs. Further benefits anticipated include the avoidance of 4,200 hospital admissions and average life expectancy would be increased by one month. [1]


Whilst the cost of implementation of emission control measures has been considered a hurdle, one may consider the speed at which Hong Kong society has adapted to both the ban on indoor smoking and tax on plastic bags as an indicator of how it may adjust. [2]


The Government’s proposed response to the problem of air pollution focuses on reducing emissions, but does not focus on reducing exposure to emissions. [2]

Other proposed measures

Fuel controls

The EPD is preparing for a proposal to strengthen the control of emissions from petrol and LPG vehicles including the use of roadside remote sensing equipment and the use of dynamometers for emission testings. [3]


A specification for biodiesel for use in motor vehicles is also being developed. [4] The feasibility of tightening the statutory specifications for motor vehicle fuels to Euro V is also being examined.


EPD will mandate the use of liquid fuel with sulphur content of not more than 0.005% in the commercial and industrial sectors. [3]


A trial will be conducted to confirm the technical feasibility of ferries switching from marine light diesel to ultra low sulphur diesel and to assess whether there will be implications for operating costs. [4]


Non-road mobile sources

Stakeholders will be consulted on a proposed scheme to control emissions from non-road mobile sources operating within the airport and container terminals. [4]


Volatile Organic Compounds and hydrochlorofluorocarbons

The Air Pollution Control (Volatile Organic Compounds) Regulation will be amended in 2009 to extend its coverage to vehicle refinishing, marine vessel and pleasure craft paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants. The extended control is planned to be implemented in phases from January 2010. [4]


To further reduce VOC emissions, the Government will consider implementing measures to control the use of other VOC-containing products such as organic solvents, vehicle refinishing paints, adhesives and sealants. [5]


Legislation will be amended to ban the import of products containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) to meet the new phasing out schedule of HCFCs agreed under the Montreal Protocol in September 2007. [4]

See Also

  1. The Air Quality Objectives
  2. The Air Quality Objectives consultation


Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 ‘Air Quality Objectives Review Public Consultation’, Environmental Protection Department Hong Kong, July 2009 http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/pub_consult/files/book_en.pdf- last accessed 5/8/10
  2. 2.0 2.1 ‘Submissions – Air Quality Objectives Review Public Consultation’, Child Welfare Scheme, Chinese University Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Hong Kong, Oldham Li and Nie Lawyers, Clean Air Foundation, November 2009 http://www.savehk.org/Submissions%20to%20Air%20Quality%20Objectives%20Review.pdf – last accessed 7/8/10
  3. 3.0 3.1 ‘Air Pollution Control Strategies’, EPD website http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/prob_solutions/strategies_apc.html - last accessed 7/8/10
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 ‘The Fruit of our Efforts’, EPD website http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/misc/ehk09/en/air/index.html - last accessed 7/8/10
  5. ‘Volatile Organic Compounds and Smog’, EPD website http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/prob_solutions/vocs_smog.html - last accessed 7/8/10

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