Hong Kong air pollution

Ban on polluting vehicles a tiny step in race for survival

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2015, 3:07pm

Further to your reports 'Executives worry about city's bad air' and 'Crackdown urged on polluting vehicles' (August 28), I would like to draw readers' attention to the announcement made by leading British scientist Sir Martin Rees that our race may not survive this century due to carbon dioxide emissions. Not only do we need to ban polluting vehicles, we also urgently need to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all sources. We need short-, medium- and long-term strategies in Hong Kong and the whole region to bring an end to the dumping of pollutants into the ground, water and air. We also need to educate and reward our youth so as to bring up a generation of scientists and engineers able to tackle the huge challenges ahead.


Fifty-nine per cent of top foreign executives polled by the American Chamber of Commerce say continued deterioration in the air quality will prompt their companies to invest elsewhere, and some top talent is evidently refusing to move here. This does not bode well for Hong Kong.

Legislator Choy So-yuk last week called for a ban on vehicles that fail to meet modern emissions standards by 2010, arguing that this will reduce vehicle pollution by 50 per cent. While I appreciate her taking a stand, why wait until 2010? More importantly, will the government listen?

Finally, why has the Department of Education been silent? Is it not part of its mandate, in addition to providing a good education, to protect our children? With our youngsters regularly exposed to high pollution levels, shouldn't those who supposedly care for children speak up?

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was worried that the Lights Out campaign would reflect badly on our image. I would think he has much more to be concerned about.


I support legislator Choy So-yuk's proposal that vehicles which fail to meet modern emission standards by 2010 should be banned from Hong Kong's roads. I am proud of Hong Kong's comfortable and convenient lifestyle, but we pay a high price for our prosperity. Hong Kong is supposed to be a shoppers' paradise but it's more of a living hell once you step outside the shopping malls and into the exhaust fumes. If you were a tourist, would you visit Hong Kong again? We wouldn't tolerate others polluting our homes. Why do we allow them to pollute our air?

I am waiting for effective measures on vehicle emissions. We must make every effort to clear our air, whatever the costs. A clean environment is priceless.

EMILY NG, Lantau