Acting for Climate
Acting for Climate
To mobilise action to move Hong Kong through a transition towards long-term carbon neutrality.
To drive improvements in Hong Kong’s air quality so that the city’s Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) are both in line with WHO guidelines and achieved through effective policy and regulation.
Our strategy is to support science-based research needed to inform the development/change of government policy, the requisite engagement work and community education. We believe that accurate and credible science as well as an informed and educated public can provide the impetus to advance policy where current policies are inadequate.
Hong Kong’s air quality has been deteriorating since the late 90s…
Today, harmful levels of pollutants prevail in the city’s densely populated urban areas. This is undisputedly a significant health risk to local citizens.
Why we care about Air Quality
Rapid economic development in Asia has brought dire consequences for the environment. In urban areas, deteriorating air quality is directly impacting public health and in many jurisdictions such as China, regulatory enforcement is inadequate for addressing the problem. Downstream of a world major manufacturing hub in Guangzhou, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) faces persistent air pollution, significantly exacerbated by local pollution from marine and vehicle emissions and lack of political will to address the problem quickly enough to protect public health.
Although the HKSAR Government recognises poor air quality is a concern and is pursuing a number of initiatives, Hong Kong remains behind other comparable cities in managing its air quality and notably, its Air Quality Objectives fall short of WHO recommendations. Much more needs to be done to address, in particular, local sources of air pollution: motor vehicles, marine vessels and power plants.
Based in Hong Kong and so recognising and experiencing these challenges directly, ADMCF supports and works with organisations addressing Hong Kong’s climate challenges and deteriorating air quality.
In 2012, PM2.5 daily average concentrations exceeded WHO Air Quality Guidelines recommended standards by:
An increase of 10 Qq/m 3 in PM 2.5 concentrations will lead to a 22% increase in deaths from cardiovascular causes, a 42% increase in coronary heart disease, and a 24% increase in strokes among senior citizens aged 65+.
Roadside concentrations of major air pollutants, namely respirable suspended particulates, fine suspended particulates, nitrogen dioxide and Sulphur dioxide have all reduced by 20 to 30%, as a result of NGO pressure to clean up shipping, trucks and buses that led to targeted government action. Now levels of most air pollutants are within AQO target limits, except for nitrogen dioxide (twice the AQO limit) and ozone, which reached the highest level on record since 1999. Ozone largely is from coal plants and factories in the Greater Bay Area. So whereas previously, the pollution that affected us most in HK was generated by local transport, the worst of our pollution is now from across the border.
After years of education, developing action plans, data and research, the HK government mandated that as of 1st Jan 2019 vessels trading within the Pearl River Delta Domestic Emission Control Areas will be required to run on 0.5% low-sulphur fuel. This policy change started with the successful implementation of the Fair Winds Charter, the first voluntary scheme Environment Cleaning our Air initiated by Civic Exchange and the shipping industry to reduce emissions by requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to low-sulphur fuel while at berth.
That action (pushed by Civic Exchange and Clean Air Network, largely) included measures to control emissions from vehicles, notably, phasing out 82,000 pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles by the end of 2019 involving ex-gratia payments up to about HK$11.4 billion. More than half of these older and more polluting vehicles have already been retired.
Our Latest Blogs
September 23, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is not a surprise in the breadth of its impact but only in its timing. We have long been warned by health experts that such a pandemic would one day disrupt our “normal life”. Similarly, we have long been ...
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Global, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Regional, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
June 15, 2020
I am writing this amidst the current global public health crisis. We’ve shut down our economies and moved indoors in response. At ADMCF, we have been reflecting on what we can learn from this challenging moment and the role of ...
Hong Kong, Regional
April 7, 2020
I’ve been thinking these days about how we take this challenging moment, this public health crisis and consequent loss of life, our paralysed economies, and apply what we are learning to our equally urgent climate emergency. ...