Restoring Blue Skies:
Review of the Policy Agenda on Air Pollution
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce

April 2008

(Full Paper)

Synopsis of ideas and recommendations
This is a policy paper developed by the Environment Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on tackling Hong Kong 's air pollution problem.  The paper consists of 43 ideas and recommendations, organized under ten headings.  The purpose of this policy paper is to inform and guide further action and discussion on what we consider to be one of the most pressing issues confronting Hong Kong a world-class international city.
One: Global citizenship
1. Specific and more ambitious local green house gas emission targets, with the use of international emissions credits allowed towards achieving the targets.
2. Exploring ways to develop Hong Kong into a financial platform for trading emissions, including carbon emissions.
3. Developing and implementing carbon offset schemes.
4. Pursuing low-carbon developments through demonstration projects and relevant carbon audit schemes, starting with the public sector.
5. To be more proactive in international forums on climate change.
6. Through CEPA, enabling Hong Kong companies to take a more active part in CDM projects.
7. A tripartite partnership approach (government, business and the community) in addressing climate change, through promoting green building, green lifestyle and green business practices.
Two: Cooperation with the Mainland
8. Extending the emission trading regime between the HKSAR and Guangdong Governments to cover carbon emissions.
9.  A moratorium on building any new coal-fired factories in the region.
10. An “environmental compact” campaign for Greater PRD investors across the border.
11. Hong Kong businesses to help bring in foreign capital and technologies to help contribute to sustainable development of the country.
12. Compiling and sharing a data set on stack emission in the region.
13. A “CEnPA” – Closer Environmental Partnership Arrangement between HKSAR and Guangdong to facilitate sustainable development and environmental improvement. 
Three: Energy policy

Securing the sustainable supply of liquefied natural gas in long term and facilitating increasing use of natural gas.

15. Adopting a regulatory approach to encourage energy conservation by end users.
16. A joint monitoring system between HKSAR and Guangdong to establish the capacity limits on emissions and to enable regulation of the trading scheme and subsequent target setting.
Four: Demand-side Management

More ambitious targets to encourage delivery of greater energy saving by the power plants, including incentive schemes to encourage end-user efficiency. 

18. A community-wide promotion of responsible electricity consumption, e.g. a “Better-Off” campaign to encourage households and workplaces to switch off electrical appliances which are not in use. 
19. A “Save Electricity” educational programme to encourage the use of less power-consuming appliances.
20. Promotion of voluntary adoption of temperature control for air conditioning, e.g. 25.5C .
21. Promotion of green buildings and green roofing.

Five: Infrastructure and urban planning

22. Integrating sustainable development in respect of energy, transport and quality of life into urban planning.
23. Improving urban design and promoting “green space infrastructure” through urban greening.
Six: Sustainable transport
24. Developing new railways to meet future demand.
25. Introducing zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars, trams and trolley buses.
26. Ban on idling engines, with exemptions on certain types of vehicles and non-peak hours.
27. An annual air quality certification for vehicles to encourage eco-driving.
28. Reducing redundant public bus routes, rationalizing bus stops and restricting the proliferation of private bus transport. 
29. Regulating the operating time of delivery vehicles in congested areas.
30. Electronic road pricing as a means to reduce road traffic in congested areas.
31. Government replacing its fleet with hybrid vehicles.
Seven: Green procurement
32. Support of the Green Procurement Charter developed by the Hong Kong Green Council.
33. Adopting the Chamber/BCE Clean Air Charter as a pre-requisite in government procurement.  
Eight: Pollution tracking
34. The HKSAR and Guangdong governments to compile a complete database of pollution sources. 
35. Pollution mapping to enable more specific emission reduction targets to be set, and to improve micro-climates of specific districts through appropriate town planning and urban design measures.
36. Studies to better understand acute exposure to pollution in the heavily trafficked and poorly ventilated street canyons.
Nine: Transparency and reporting

Full data disclosure of the air quality monitoring network for the whole region. 


Re-orientating scientific resources towards providing quantitative information at more regular intervals, thus enabling productive scientific dialogue and engendering policy development.

39. All government departments and publicly-owned corporations to publish sustainability reports.
40. A “code of environment practices in the Mainland” for Hong Kong enterprises to help promote environmental management as a core business competence.

Ten: Building human capital for sustainability

41. Further development of human capital through our universities programmes in public health, urban planning, environmental sciences, meteorology, chemistry, engineering, energy, transportation, manufacturing, architecture, building services, information technology and instrumentation, and public policy. 
42. Top government appointees in various policy areas that impact on sustainability to have strong subject matter expertise. 
43. Through the Environment and Conservation Fund, to coordinate various programmes in public education targeted at different segments of the population. 

One: Global citizenship
Two: Cooperation with the Mainland
Three: Energy policy
Four: Demand-side Management
Five: Infrastructure and urban planning
Six: Sustainable transport
Seven: Green procurement
Eight: Pollution tracking
Nine: Transparency and reporting
Ten: Building human capital for sustainability

The Way Forward

(Full Paper)