Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
2010-11 Policy Address by Chief Executive (11)

D. Quality Life

Environmental Protection

Combating Climate Change

111. Combating climate change, emission reduction and low carbon are now a worldwide consensus.  Our emission reduction strategy emphasises the wider use of cleaner and low-carbon energies and fuels in power generation.  Specifically, we propose optimising the fuel mix for power generation, significantly reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, phasing out existing coal-fired generation units, and increasing the use of non-fossil, cleaner and low-carbon fuels, including renewable energy and imported nuclear energy.  We propose that by 2020, natural gas should account for about 40% of our fuel mix for power generation, coal no more than 10%, renewable energy about 3-4%, and the balance of about 50% by imported nuclear energy.  Furthermore, we will endeavour to enhance energy efficiency, promote green building, advocate electricity saving, facilitate low-carbon transport and develop facilities to turn waste into energy.

112. By implementing this strategy, we expect the carbon intensity in Hong Kong to be reduced by 50-60% by 2020, compared with the 2005 level.  Greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by 19-33% compared with 2005.  Emissions per capita will also be lowered from 6.2 tonnes to 3.6-4.5 tonnes, far lower than the levels of the United States, the European Union and Japan.

Air Quality

113. Air quality in Hong Kong is improving gradually. Last year, the ambient air concentrations of such major pollutants as sulphur dioxide, suspended particulates and nitrogen dioxide dropped by 36%, 15% and 4% respectively compared with 2005.  However, for roadside air pollution, the concentration of nitrogen dioxide is still on the high side.  We will implement the following improvement measures.

Franchised Buses

114. Franchised buses are the major cause of roadside air pollution on busy corridors.  The ultimate policy objective of the Government is to have zero emission buses running across the territory.  When the current bus franchises expire in the coming few years, we will impose additional requirements in the franchises for the bus companies to switch to zero emission buses or the most environmental-friendly buses when replacing existing ones, taking into account the feasibility and affordability for bus operators and passengers.

115. In terms of fuel consumption and other environmental performance, hybrid buses are superior to ordinary diesel buses.  In view of market availability and technical developments, hybrid buses have the potential to replace diesel buses on a large scale within a short period.  Therefore, we propose to fund the full cost of procuring six hybrid buses for use by the franchised bus companies along busy corridors to test the operational efficiency and performance of these buses under Hong Kong conditions and to collect operational data.  If the bus companies wish to test other greener buses such as electric buses, the Government will be ready to provide them with the same financial support.

116. At present, over 60% of franchised buses are Euro II and Euro III vehicles.  There are too many to phase them all out in the coming few years.  In view of this, the Government and franchised bus companies are conducting a trial to retrofit Euro II and Euro III buses with catalytic reduction devices to meet Euro IV nitrogen oxide emission standards.  Subject to satisfactory trial results, we will fully fund the retrofit of the devices on all Euro II and Euro III buses.  Bus companies will bear the subsequent operational and maintenance costs.

117. Furthermore, the Government plans to designate pilot low-emission zones in busy districts such as Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok.  We will increase as far as possible the ratio of low-emission franchised buses running in these zones from next year, with the target of having only low-emission buses in these zones by 2015.

Pilot Green Transport Fund

118. Land and sea transport are the second largest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.  To encourage the transport sector to test out green and low-carbon transport means and technology, the Government plans to set up a $300 million Pilot Green Transport Fund this year for application by the transport trade.

Improving Water Quality in Victoria Harbour

119. To improve the water quality of Victoria Harbour, we have further allocated about $17 billion for the full-speed construction of relevant facilities.  Upon completion in 2014, the facilities will treat the remaining untreated sewage, about  450 000 cubic metres a day, discharged from Hong Kong Island. This will substantially improve the water quality of our harbour.  In parallel, we have advanced the construction of some disinfection facilities to improve the water quality in the western part of the harbour and the beaches in Tsuen Wan.  We expect to re-open some of the Tsuen Wan beaches next year.  In the coming few months, we will finalise our plans and discuss the preparatory work with the District Councils.

Ban on Trawling

120. In recent years, Hong Kong's marine environment has been affected by pollution and capture fisheries, resulting in a declining quality of fish catches.  To protect our precious marine resources and ecology, we will implement a basket of management measures such as banning trawling in Hong Kong waters through legislation in order to restore our seabed and marine resources as early as possible.  We plan to introduce legislation into this Council next year.  To assist the fishermen affected, we will launch a voluntary trawler buyout scheme, and grant an ex-gratia allowance to eligible fishermen.  The Secretary for Food and Health will later announce the details of the scheme.

121. Meanwhile, we will provide training and technical support for affected fishermen to help them switch to other sustainable fishing operations, including aquaculture and leisure fishing.  Some fishing vessels bought under the voluntary scheme will be processed for use as artificial reefs to enrich fishery resources and improve the marine ecology.  I believe these measures are conducive to the sustainable development of the fisheries industry.

Nature Conservation

122. Hong Kong boasts over 40 000 hectares of land of scenic beauty.  However, the recent Tai Long Sai Wan incident has highlighted the need to take prompt action to regulate land use in the vicinity of country parks to forestall human damage.

123. We have prepared draft Development Permission Area plans for Sai Wan, Hoi Ha, Pak Lap and So Lo Pun.  There remains 50 sites adjacent to country parks but not yet covered by statutory plans.  To meet conservation and social development needs, we will either include them into country parks, or determine their proper uses through statutory planning.  We will start work as soon as possible.

Environment and Conservation Fund

124. In 2008, the Government injected $1 billion into the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) to expand its scope with a view to encouraging more organisations to undertake conservation research and technology demonstration projects.  We have earmarked $500 million for injection into the ECF as necessary.

(To be continued)

Ends/Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:22


Print this page