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Endless Talking Does Not Curb Pollution


I found the statement by the assistant director of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Benny Y.K. Wong – that the government welcomes and takes seriously the community’s views on how to tackle the air pollution problem – quite depressing (“All views on air quality welcome”, February 5).

So the EPD needs our help? I thought they were the experts. Shouldn’t the people responsible for clearing our skies already know what to do? I guess not.

Mr Wong, here are some suggestions. I am only a teacher, not an environmental expert, but these ideas seem easy to understand. We should implement an idling-engine ban, something discussed since 2000, and introduce road pricing – also discussed for years.

All vehicles that do not meet the most recent environmental standards should be removed within six months. London imposes a daily fine of more than HK$3,000 on polluting trucks. This is action, not consultation.

Make catalytic converters mandatory immediately on all vehicles that do not meet current standards.

Our two power companies should be required to install the most advanced technology that is available to reduce emissions.

Finally, we should use the new World Health Organisation scale for assessing pollution, not the 1987 scale now in use. This is the easiest one to do immediately, but is currently in the consultation process.

These ideas are not new. They have been “discussed”, some for many years, but no action has been taken. So, Mr Wong, can you please tell me what good it does to make suggestions when no action is ever taken?

It is sad that the ones who could make a difference just do not seem to care enough. Mr Wong, the people cannot make any of these changes. We need action, not endless consultations, which it seems is the only thing this current administration is good at.

Terry Scott, Sha Tin

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