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December 18th, 2007:

Superfund Urged To Combat Pollution

The Council for Sustainable Development (CSD) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region yesterday suggested that a superfund be set up with money from budget surplus to protect environment.

Speaking at the Air Summit, where Chief Executive Donald Tsang was also present, Edgar Cheng, chairman of the council, said that it was time to set up an Air Quality Clean-up Superfund as Hong Kong had a huge fiscal surplus.

He, however, didn’t specify how much the sum should be.

Cheng also said the superfund “will be money well spent and a true investment in the future. It also shows that Hong Kong is serious and committed to tackling air pollution”.

He also pointed out that the special administrative region must balance mandatory measures and voluntary actions to combat pollution.

Cheng said the council would submit a report with recommendations to the government by the middle of next month.

At the summit the council released results of more than 81,000 public questionnaires which they had received from June to October.

Most respondents (77 percent) supported increasing transport costs for cleaner air.

Seventy-six percent said the special administrative region should use as much public transport as possible.

More than 40 percent backed having an electronic road pricing.

About half of respondents preferred color alert system on polluted days.

John Bacon-Shone, director of Social Sciences Research Center of the University of Hong Kong, who analyzed the questionnaires’ results for the council, said the results had shown most people are in favor of the “polluter pays” principle.

For example, pre-Euro trucks should pay more because these were polluting vehicles, he explained.

He, however, added that respondents were not asked about the amount of increase in transport cost.

In his opening speech to the summit, the chief executive stressed the importance of clean air in boosting Hong Kong’s economy.

“To keep our economy growing, we have to improve air quality and provide a good living environment to attract investors and talents to stay in Hong Kong,” he said.

“We should think if we were willing to change our habits or pay some price to improve air quality,” Tsang pointed out.

The chief executive added that he would fully consider the council’s recommendations to set up a long-term environmental policy for Hong Kong.

Jonathan Wong, biology professor with Hong Kong Baptist University, said it would always be good to put more resources into environmental protection.

However, he pointed out since the government had already pumped in HK$1 billion into the Environment and Conservation Fund, the council might have overlapped function with the Environment Conservation Committee.

Wong said he was not clear whether the superfund was intended for community education or changing infrastructure.

(China Daily HK Edition December 18, 2007)

Local and Regional Pollution Sources for Hong Kong

Relative Significance of Local vs. Regional Sources: Hong Kong’s Air Pollution

香港的空氣污染:探討本地及區域污染源的 相對重要性

Alexis Lau 劉啟漢, Andrew Lo 羅致安,
Joe Gray, Zibing Yuan 袁自冰
Institute for the Environment
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Christine Loh 陸恭蕙
Civic Exchange 思匯政策研究所

No matter how one chooses to measure it, the air quality in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta has deteriorated rapidly over the past 20 years. For the layman, the distance one can see is a good indicator of air quality. The deterioration of Hong Kong’s air quality has resulted in a steady increase in the number of hazy days.

我們無論選擇以哪種方法量度空氣質量,都會得出以下的結論:香港及珠江三角洲的空氣質量在過去二十年間迅速變壞。對 一般人士來說,能見度是一個反映空氣質量的理想指標。香港空氣質量惡化,同時令煙霞日數穩步上升。

Monthly Number of Hazy Days in Hong Kong

Monthly number of hazy days – 每月煙霞日數 

As the air quality grows worse, questions arise about where the pollution is coming from, and what can be done about it. How significant are local and regional pollution sources for Hong Kong’s air quality? The answer to this question is complex, and in fact can be quite different depending on how one approaches the problem.

當空氣質量持續惡化,隨之而來的問題包括:污染從何而來?我們可以採取什麼措施?本地及區域污染源對於香港空氣污染 問題分別有多重要?其中,最後一個問題的答案是非常複雜的。事實上,由於分析這個問題的方法可能因人而異,因此各人 的答案亦將有所不同。

In this report, we first summarize the results from two traditional approaches – one based on total emissions in terms of tonnage and another based on receptor source apportionment in terms of mass concentration. We then introduce our new approach, which gives a time-based perspective. It answers the question of how many days in a year Hong Kong’s air quality is affected by regional and local emissions respectively. This type of analysis has not been undertaken in Hong Kong before.

傳統上,量度空氣污染的方法有二:其一是以污染物的重量作基礎,量度總排放量;其二是按污染物的質量濃度,進行污染 源解析。我們在以下篇幅將會首先概述以上述兩種方法進行研究所得出的結果。然後,我們會介紹一種以時間作基礎,研究 空氣污染的新方法。這種分析方法在香港是前所未有的。它可以幫助我們瞭解在一年當中,香港的空氣質量有多少天是受區 域性排放影響,而又有多少天主要是受本地排放影響。

Using 2006 data, we found that regional sources are the primary influence on Hong Kong’s air 132 days (approximately 36% of the time) while local sources are the crucial factor on 192 days (nearly 53% of the time). Based on these results, it is clear that reducing emissions of air pollutants in Hong Kong would have a significant positive impact on local air quality, which would in turn improve public health.

我們的研究分析了2006年的數據,發現香港的空氣質量主要受區域性污染源影響的日數,是每年132日(以時間計算約佔 36%);本地污染源作為主要原兇的日數,則達到每年192日(約佔53%)。以上研究結果讓我們清楚知道,減少香港空氣 污染物的排放,將可以明顯改善本地空氣質量,從而改善公眾健康。

The results of this study are important to policy makers and the public because they show that:

  • By taking more environmental responsibility locally, Hong Kong can do much more to improve air quality and therefore public health.
  • There is no reason for Hong Kong to feel debilitated by the belief that on its own it cannot make substantial improvement to the city’s air quality.

To conclude, we offer broad policy recommendations as to how local emissions can be reduced. We believe that there are a number of potentially effective solutions that can be implemented relatively quickly. In particular, we recommend that Hong Kong adopt and enforce the World Health Organization’s (2006) global air quality guidelines, and devise a comprehensive energy policy.


  • 香港只要在本地環境問題上作出更大承擔,就能進一步改善空氣質量及公眾健康。
  • 香港不能單靠自身努力,改善本地空氣質量的想法是錯誤的。我們不應受這個想法影響而感到無能為力。

最後,我們提出幾項減少本地污染物排放的政策建議,作為報告的終結。我們相信有一些具成效的措施,是可以在較短時間 內開始實施的。其中,我們建議香港採納和執行世界衛生組織(2006)的全球空氣質量指引,以及訂立一套全面的能源政 策。

Full report here: