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Vision & Mission

Our vision is to clean up Hong Kong’s air.

5-year Change |
2017 - 2021 Achievements

CAN’s outreach strengthened

Social cost & pollution reduced


0 %
25 21


0 %
37 34

Economic Loss

0 %
22k 15k

Doctor Visit


0 %
2.7M 1.6M


What is CAN?


Since our inception in 2009, Clean Air Network (CAN) has become a principal advocate for clean air and the only dedicated air issue-focused non-profit organization in Hong Kong. Over a decade or so, we have been a strong force from civil society in shaping the Hong Kong government’s long-term emission control strategy through constructive dialogue and scientifically-sound approaches.


Currently, CAN is working to enhance community knowledge on air pollution matters and formulate policy advice to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles on the road. To make clean air a sustainable reality in Hong Kong, we have maintained a consistent media presence and our platforms to raise public awareness on air pollution-related issues and their health impact.


What has CAN achieved?


Policy Change

Under our ongoing advocacy work, the Government has in the past years: 

  • Amended the principal air pollution control ordinance to review Air Quality Objectives at least once every five years 
  • Set up a 10–billion dollar fund to subsidize the replacement of old and polluting commercial diesel vehicles
  • Mandated fuel switch at berth for ocean going vessels 
  • Commenced the first walkability study in Hong Kong 
  • Published the Clean Air Plan 2035 and the first EV Roadmap for Hong Kong, which 
  • Set out long-term strategy on air quality management and green transport 

And the Government will 

  • Enhance air quality at public transport interchanges
  • Update the Air Quality Health Index to show long-term and short-term health risks 
  • Commit to provide more detailed district–based air quality information to public 

Knowledge Change

In the past 5 years, CAN has:

  • Approached more than 20,000 individuals, including over 2,000 students in 100 secondary schools, more than 500 parents and volunteers, through our public empowerment programmes
  • Maintained a strong local media presence 

Now, the public understands a lot more about the health impacts of air pollution!

Air Pollution Reduced

Over the past 5 years, the annual average concentrations of major pollutants have been dropping:

Air pollutant

General stations

Roadside stations










Societal Costs of Air Pollution Reduced

In the past 5 years, 

  • Number of premature deaths dropped by 29% 
  • Economic loss dropped by 30%
  • Number of Clean Air Days increased by 37%


What will CAN do?


Current Actions: 

  • Advocating for medium–term green transport policies
  • Furthering our educational programmes
  • Building and sharing knowledge to address needs of schools, families, patients and communities 

Future Plans: 

  • Accelerate Hong Kong’s transition of franchised bus, public light bus and heavy–duty goods vehicles to zero–emission modes, in alignment with the Government’s 2025 Strategic Plan
  • Become the top environmental educational partner of secondary and primary schools in Hong Kong
  • Explore more stringent indoor air quality standard for schools, elderly centers and public buildings in Hong Kong


Is air pollution cancer-causing?


In 2013, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization classified outdoor air pollution as group 1 carcinogen. This is the first time that scientists evaluated the air people breathe for its cancer-causing potential.


Comprehensive analysis finds air pollution may be damaging every organ in the body, causing dementia, heart and lung diseases, fertility problems and reduced intelligence.


Are we protecting the socially disadvantaged sufficiently?


Two major local studies published in 2008 (HKU-CUHK) and 2018 (HKU-Cambridge) found that the socially deprived is exposed to more air pollution in Hong Kong. Although all individuals are exposed to some level of air pollution, those who are already in poor health and those who are socially disadvantaged are most strongly affected. 


Is air pollution a trans-generational issue?


Air pollution particles have been found on the foetal side of placentas, indicating that unborn babies are directly exposed to the black carbon produced by motor traffic and fuel burning.