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Idling law misses mark

10100570arobin-hood-postersLast updated: April 21, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

I refer to your recent news stories about the new law which requires drivers to limit the amount of time their vehicle engines are idling.

Such a law appears laudable as the government takes steps to reduce pollution and help prevent climate change.

However, with only a slight amount of critical thought, one wonders whether the government introduced the law merely to lull the public into thinking they are looking out for their best interests.

Considering all the sources of pollution that affect Hong Kong, the idling of engines is surely so far down the list as to be laughable.

The two biggest local pollution contributors are coal emissions from electricity generators, and vehicle exhausts. But the vast majority of pollution from the latter is surely caused by engines burning fuel in order to move rather than to stand still.

In effect, the government has put its time and energy into writing a law whose outcomes will have minimal gains, yet may bring appearances of being green.

In the meantime, it drags its feet on the big issues: reducing the amount of coal burned to generate electricity, installing scrubbers on power plants, getting highly polluting vehicles off the road and getting tougher on marine emissions.

Colin Whittington, Ma On Shan

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