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September 2nd, 2012:

Shanghai one up on HK

SCMP Laisee 2 Sept. 2012

Shanghai is upping the ante in its efforts to improve its air quality. Starting this month, the city will gradually start eliminating heavily polluting clunkers that environmental protection officials say produce at least half of Shanghai’s roadside pollution, the Shanghai Daily reports. There are some 230,000 old vehicles, making up about 12 per cent of Shanghai’s locally registered vehicles. These vehicles will be phased out by 2015 but the earlier the owners take them off the road, the bigger the subsidy they will get from the government. Owners of private cars will be offered 3,000 yuan (HK$3,700) to 32,000 yuan, officials say. Also, buses that travel between provinces are entitled to subsidies. But the subsidy will fall by half after 2014.
This is a carrot-and-stick approach to the problem – an approach Hong Kong would do well to adopt, instead of pussyfooting around various vested interest groups.