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Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong shows Government determination to improve air quality (with photos/video)

     The Environment Bureau unveiled "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong" today (March 28) to outline comprehensively and clearly the challenges Hong Kong is facing with regard to air quality as well as relevant policies, measures and plans to tackle the issue. Collaboration among various Government bureaux and departments and the concerted efforts of different sectors will all contribute to attaining the goal of cleaner air and a healthier living environment for the public.

     Chairing today's press conference on the Clean Air Plan, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "This administration has accorded top priority to improving air quality among all the green policies. The air quality policies are premised on the protection of public health and the goal is to achieve the new Air Quality Objectives largely by 2020."

     The Clean Air Plan gives a detailed account of the air quality management system in Hong Kong, with measures to tackle air pollution covering land and sea transport, power plants and non-road mobile machinery. It also seeks to strengthen collaboration between Guangdong and Hong Kong to deal with regional pollution.

     "The effectiveness of various measures rides on inter-departmental efforts and community involvement, in particular, the transport sector, power companies and construction sector," said Mr Wong.

     "It is also highly essential to have public support. If every one of us chooses  environment-friendly transportation, and we step up efforts to save energy and green the environment, overall air quality will see improvements more quickly and effectively. The Government will continue to step up its efforts in education and publicity. We also appeal to everyone in Hong Kong to contribute to cleaning the air," he said.

     Mr Wong added that the Government has allocated substantial resources to improve air quality. To demonstrate the Government's determination, $10 billion has been set aside this year to support the early retirement of old diesel commercial vehicles.

     Also attending the press conference were the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung; the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing; and the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan. They all recognised the significance of improving air quality in Hong Kong and showed their support for "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong".

     Professor Cheung said that the Transport and Housing Bureau has been working closely with the Environment Bureau in carrying out a series of initiatives to improve air quality. These include vigorously pursuing bus route rationalisation, encouraging public transport operators to co-operate with the Environmental Protection Department in adopting various measures to enhance their environmental performance, and proposing measures to improve traffic distribution among the cross-harbour tunnels. The Administration will also continue to implement international standards on emissions from ocean-going vessels through local legislation. These measures help reduce the emissions from vehicles and vessels.

     Professor Chan said Hong Kong's air quality management (AQM) programme covers a series of regulatory activities and measures to control sources of pollution. The AQM process includes understanding different sources of pollution and the health effects of pollutants, as well as taking targeted measures to reduce or control pollution sources. The Department of Health will continue to pay attention to the latest scientific evidence on the health impact of air pollution, particularly the advice from the World Health Organization, and provide professional advice to relevant bureaux and departments from health and public hygiene perspectives.

     Mr Wai noted that the Development Bureau has been actively promoting greening as well as sustainable urban planning and building designs to improve air quality and enhance the urban environment. In line with the Clean Air Plan's aim of a gradual improvement in Hong Kong's air quality, the Bureau also wants to develop cycle track networks and will strive to reduce exhaust gas emissions from non-road mobile machinery during the implementation of public works projects.

     "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong" is available on the websites of the Environment Bureau ( and the Environmental Protection Department (

Ends/Thursday, March 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:12


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