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Govt defends air quality programme

RTHK News – 12 Jan 2012

Govt defends air quality programme

The administration has defended itself against criticism over air quality standards by saying it is implementing a series of measures to attain long-term improvement. The policy group Civic Exchange has criticised the Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, for failing to update standards.

It said there had been more than 7,000 local deaths related to air pollution since Mr Tsang took office in 2005.

It said China’s recent launch of a consultation to revise its air quality objectives would put pressure on the SAR government.

The group’s head of environmental strategy, Mike Kilburn, said updated standards could delay future infrastructure projects, since current limits were so high that they offered no protection to public health.

In response, the government said that from 2015 onwards it would be tightening the emission caps on the power sector by up to 50 percent.

It was also subsidising the early replacement of older commercial vehicles which run on diesel, and was introducing legislation to promote energy efficiency.

It said it was now working on the final proposal to update the AQOs for submission to the legislative council as soon as possible

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