Sourced from Open Gov
Recently, a new set of five-year air quality objectives (which will ideally come into effect in 2020) were proposed by the government and are now pending approval from the legislature and environmental advisers, a recent report, written by a visiting professor in the School of Humanities, Social Science and Law at Harbin Institute of Technology notes.
The report noted that local environmental advocacy groups have criticised the proposal for being too conservative; lax standards would enable projects that will result in environmental degradation to carry on unhindered
In addition, some of the objectives won’t even be met, according to the Environmental Protection Department’s own forecasts for air quality in 2025.
Targets aside, concerned citizens of Hong Kong have attempted to identify the sources of the constant pollution problem. Some think the issue is a result of the emissions from the shipping industry. Thus, a solution currently in progress is cleaning up shipping fuel.
Another source is the coal and gas plants we still use to generate electricity; activists and advisers have stressed the need to slow down the rate at which roadside emissions are being produced. This means phasing out diesel vehicles and switching to electric cars.
The report notes that while these corrective and preventive measures are important, Hong Kong must also consider turning to some of the scientifically proven and innovative solutions that have been implemented elsewhere in the world.
A more proactive approach must be taken if the public health crisis it represents is to be rectified.
First, the region needs more flora and the opportunities that rooftops provide are being grossly underappreciated. Plants can be designed into the roofs of houses and apartments. Once introduced, the plants remove carbon dioxide and harmful pollutants from the air and improve its quality.