Secretary for Home Affairs, Director of Environmental Protection,
Hong Kong government to install accurate and easy to understand digital displays of AQHI levels in public spaces used for sports and exercise such as sports grounds, free outdoor pitches, courts, jogging tracks, fitness trails and cycling tracks.
Currently, there is an inadequacy of the display of information regarding air pollution level. Installing digital displays would allow individuals to keep track of the status of air quality and avoid potential adverse side effects.
Public displays of AQHI would allow individuals to monitor the level of air pollution in their immediate area.
Whilst the public displays can’t clean up the air in Hong Kong, they could help individuals better prepare for deteriorating air quality for example carrying a face mask or avoiding the area all together.
In our modern society, many individuals track AQHI through apps, smart watches and the internet but for a large percentage of the population this isn’t possible and applications are also not specific to an area – just the district. Raising awareness of the deteriorating air quality in Hong Kong is also likely to encourage citizens to lessen their individual impact and make switches to their everyday life.
Public displays would:
Full details about AQHI on the website of Environmental Protection Department:
According to HKU’s Hedley Index, over 10,000 premature deaths were caused by air pollution in Hong Kong in the past 5 years. The Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives (AQO) are far too loose compared to the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines (WHOAQGs), meaning they are insufficient in safeguarding public health. Still, the government proposes to greatly increase the number of allowable exceedances for air pollutant, PM2.5, from 9 times to 35 times a year.
The reason behind the exceedance proposal is that the government estimated the level of PM2.5 would exceed the proposed AQO for 33 times in 2025. The proposal clearly places technical feasibility first and ignores the importance of public health. As research in 2011 done by the University of Hong Kong has shown that population in Hong Kong would be exposed to an additional 24% health risk every year if the government were allowed to increase the number of exceedances. More importantly, the proposal to increase the number of allowable exceedance for air pollutants does not fulfill Air Pollution Control Ordinance’s major objective, which is to “abate, prohibit and control pollution of the atmosphere”.
Besides, the government shows low willingness to combat air pollution by not proposing to tighten the AQOs for the two pollutants, PM10 and ozone, even though the concentration levels of the two pollutants are expected to increase in the future.
We urge the government to:
1. Withdraw the proposal to increase PM2.5’s number of allowable exceedances to 35 times
2. Tighten the AQOs for PM10 and ozone
3. Tighten the AQOs to WHOAQGs as soon as possible
Albeit with an approximate 30% of reduction of key air pollution over the past few years, Hong Kong’s public health is not sufficiently protected.
Due to high level of roadside air pollution, a large percentage of the population are constantly exposed to substantial health risks, with a direct impact on our health and in some cases our lives, with an economic impact as well.
Over the last 20 years, roadside air pollution has stayed as high as two times the WHO’s standard. Relying on Environment policies alone to reduce emission from vehicle is not enough to bring the roadside air pollution down to safe level, by year 2020. The HKSAR government must implement transport demand management solutions to improve roadside air quality and hence Transport and Housing Bureau should be held accountable.
In order to safeguard public health, CAN urges the Chief Executive to deliver the below in her first Policy Address –
1) establish air pollution reduction target for Transport and Housing Bureau;
2) delegate Food and Health Bureau to lower the health risks of non-communicable diseases posed by air pollution;
3) delegate Environment Bureau to immediately tighten HK’s Air Quality Objectives to WHO AQGs.
In the past decades, the number of registered vehicles has increased drastically from 530,000 to 820,000. This seriously worsens traffic congestion thus roadside pollution. Furthermore, the prolonged journey time also increases the commuters’ exposure to roadside air pollution.
We need your immediate support to urge government to implement policies to curb vehicle numbers.
Effectiveness of existing Low Emission Zones (LEZ) is questionable.
The existing LEZ only included a few street blocks in Causeway Bay, Central and Mongkok. We dubbed as “low emission streets”. LEZ solely regulates buses, but franchised buses only account for 40% of total traffic accounts in busy areas, whilst the remaining 60% consists of other vehicles. That means it cannot achieve real emissions reduction.
In order to accommodate the LEZ , government shifts bus routes and uses older bus models in area out of the LEZ. Neglecting equally polluted areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui.
We petition to﹕
Hong Kong’s current Air Quality Objectives are set far below the World Health Organisation Air Quality Guildelines
Failure to comply to such standard raises citizens’ mortality rate by 2.5-15%. Expensive medical bills and lost of productivity causes Hong Kong $39 billion per year. To protect public health and the environment, we petition to:
we petition to
CAN is very disappointed that the authorities has decided to shelve the installation of onshore power supply for Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Ocean going ships are Hong Kong’s biggest pollution source. On shore power system avoids the burning of fuels on ships berthing cruises. Its social benefits is estimated to bring 5.23 hundred millions per year and avoid 42 premature deaths.
To protect public health, we urge the government to: