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Yau can’t fool people all the time

SCMP – Laisee

Yau can’t fool people all the time

Our Secretary for the Environment, Edward Yau, has embarked on a two-day visit to Beijing, where, according to the government’s website, he is to “exchange views with officials on environmental protection, climate change, transport emissions reduction and conservation.” Oh to be a fly on the wall when he gets round to discussing transport emissions.

Yau: “Your new air quality targets came as a bit of a shock to us – they forced us to take action or at least look like as if we were.”

Mainland official: “Well, we felt we had to do something – the people were getting angry.”

Yau: “Really, we think we can get away with our old out-of-date air quality standards for a few more years without the people getting too awkward.”

And so on. One intriguing question surrounding Yau is what will he do when there is a new chief executive in July. Whether he remains in his post will be an interesting indicator as to the incoming CE’s approach to environmental protection. If he stays on, it’s business as usual. Knowing the way things work in government, he’ll probably be promoted. Yikes.

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