Friends of the Earth asks HK to raise air quality, waste targets

Local | 22 Apr 2020 5:43 pm

Hong Kong has not given any updates on a decarbonisation plan that it has to submit this year as a signatory of Paris Agreement on climate change and needs more bold action to address the issue, a green group said today.

Friends of the Earth also called on the SAR government to implement "solid and bold" measures to improve local air quality and the city's management of waste.

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – an international observance in support of environmental protection – the green group said the Hong Kong has done quite a lot to protect the environment, but those measures aren't enough.

The theme of this year's Earth Day is climate change, and Friends of the Earth's Jeffrey Hung urged the government to formulate a long-term decarbonisation plan.

"The government has launched a climate action plan, and they have set a target of absolute carbon reduction of around 26 to 36 percent in Hong Kong," said Hung.

"But ... in order to achieve the Paris Agreement with the world, all of the cities need to cut their carbon emissions by at least 45 percent in 2030, and to reach net zero by 2050, otherwise we will experience a lot of catastrophic climate change impact," he said.

Hong Kong, as a member of the Paris Agreement, has to submit a long-term decarbonisation strategy by the end of the year, but there have been no updates from the government on this, he said.

Hung acknowledged that while the government has implemented measures to improve air quality in the city, from phasing out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles and providing incentives to the transport sector to adopt green technology, this was being offset by the "alarming" increase in private vehicle ownership.

"So probably in order to reduce the air pollution, especially at the roadside, probably we will have to some measures to cap the private vehicle growth and also with other supplementary measures, for example the electronic road pricing."

Hung also RTHK's Richard Pyne that he was "very disappointed" that progress on the government's Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging Scheme – which would require a fee for the collection of municipal waste – has been stalled, saying there was a "high chance" it would not get passed in Legco.-Photo: RTHK


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