- Government missed the opportunity to use financial measures to discourage traffic growth; it is disappointing to see there is no continuity of government efforts to achieve the policy goal of controlling traffic growth as set out in last year’s Budget.
- Switching scheme helps to reduce emission from private cars, but the impact will be minimal given private cars only account for 3% of roadside air pollution. For commercial vehicles which account for 95% of roadside air pollution, there is no additional measure set out in this Budget to accelerate transition to Euro VI or Zero Emission.
- For example, the government could consider to use the funding allocated for “one-for-one replacement” scheme or inject additional funding to subsidize owners of old commercial vehicles and bus companies to switch to Euro VI standard or electric models to achieve more impact to reduce air pollution.
- Without financial disincentive to control traffic growth or a holistic traffic demand management policy, relying only on the switching scheme is ineffective to curb overall growth of private vehicles and significantly reduce traffic emission.
- CAN welcomes the government’s additional annual funding of $100 million for the Department of Health to promote a healthy lifestyle in the community in order to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.
As World Health Organisation has long proven that air pollution is the main risk factor for NCD, the department should utilize the funding to raise the public awareness of the associations between air pollution and NCD.
- Set a target and timeline to clean up the fleet of diesel commercial vehicles to ultimately achieve complete zero-emission. In short term, the government should continue the incentive-cum-regulatory approach to clean up the existing fleet to meet Euro VI or higher standard.
- Set a target and timeline to clean up the fleet of franchised buses to ultimately achieve complete zero-emission. In short term, the government should also take the incentive-cum-regulatory approach to clean up the existing bus fleet to meet Euro 6 or higher standards.
- Strengthen mobile remote sensing equipment in terms of frequency and area coverage in order to effectively curb excessive roadside emissions.
- Incorporate chassis dynamometer aided emission test into the Transport Department’s annual examination for licence renewal, where the parameters should include Nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
- Manage the growth and usage of vehicles with the introduction of electronic road pricing, increase in first registration tax and fuel surcharge.
- Extend the network of roadside monitoring stations to other 15 districts in addition to the existing ones in Mongkok, Central and Causeway Bay.
Clean Air Network
Clean Air Network calls for the immediate attention of the Chief Executive on this public health crisis, and urges the Chief Executive to lead the co-ordination among the stated Authorities to improve air quality, as promised in her Manifesto.
For Media Enquiries:
Chief Executive Officer/3971 0106, 9834 8892/ Patrick@hongkongcan.org
Loong Tsz Wai/
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Winnie Tse Wing Lam/
Campaign Officer/3971 0106, 6175 6168/ Winnie@hongkongcan.org