The lack of Holistic Transport Management
Hampers the current effort of emission cut
In response to 2016 Air Pollution Emission Inventory
In response to Environmental Protection Department’s release of 2016 Hong Kong Air Pollution Emission Inventory, Clean Air Network recognises the overall fall in emission among air pollutants in 2016. However, doubts continue to hover as the lack of holistic transport management will continue to hamper the progress of current emission cut, which will make Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) insufficiently meet the 2020 Emission Reduction Targets.
Roadside pollution (in term of Nitrogen Dioxide, NO2) in Hong Kong has been constantly double the safety limit over the past 20 years. Based on the figures from the emission inventory, it is observed that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is mainly generated locally, with its changes in emission and concentrations levels positively correlated over the 20-year trend.
Seeing the concentration of roadside air pollution in 2017 halted stalling and bounced back by 5% compared to 2016, it reflects the lack of transport management in vehicular growth continues to hamper the effort of emission control. Based on the above observation, it is suspected that a further 6% NO2 emission can hardly be curbed, as compared to 2015 level, in the coming 4 years (2017 – 2020), to meet the 2020’s 20% Reduction target.
Regarding the health impacts of air pollution, it is crucial to note the difference between emission and concentration of air pollutant. While the former indicates the total emission of certain air pollutants in a specific year, the latter informs the amount of pollutant matter released in the atmosphere in a specific time interval, which is directly related to human exposure to the pollutants with significant health impacts.
Air Pollution remains an urgent public health issue for Hong Kong, with 1,800 people prematurely killed by the problem in 2017. In safeguarding public health, CAN emphasises that the focus should be put on concentration level instead of merely emission level, along with a comprehensive transport management in order to lower the concentration level of roadside pollution.