Officials have done nothing as waste problems have got worse

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 5:33am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 5:33am

The mainland is undertaking a major debate and urgent measures to meet the obvious need to move to a sustainable, low-carbon, environmental or bio-economy to save the country's ecosystem.

The rapid implementation of pervasive measures and targets is required for such a successful transformation. China is simultaneously engaged in the largest urbanisation and social movement in the planet's history. Sustained and co-ordinated commitments of intelligent thought, planning and resources are required.

By contrast in Hong Kong, thinking, measures and resources to address the same environment and ecosystem issues are almost non-existent.

While Beijing strives for major advances in terms of innovation and rapid changes in its environment and society, Hong Kong falls further and further behind.

Instead of smart city policies, unhealthy city policies predominate.

The fundamental duty of any government is to protect the well-being and safety of its society and people.

Last year, Professor Anthony Hedley of the University of Hong Kong stated that, "in Hong Kong, we are being disastrously poisoned on a daily basis". The government is manifestly failing in this duty of care.

The chief executive's policy is for sustained development for continued prosperity, despite the obvious collapse of the ecosystem from unsustainable development.

Systemic wilful and bizarre failures and omissions to address comprehensive waste treatment are a perfect example. Since July 1, 1997, the government has had an abysmal record, leaving it at the bottom of the global waste treatment table.

The recent waste blueprint ["Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022"] lacks any vision and imagination. It is too little, too late and is manifestly wrong.

Why has there been such a long period of inaction in Hong Kong on this issue? There has been a lack of radical thinking and informed debate.

Because nothing was done over this extended period, we now have the administration saying it has no alternatives. It says it must go ahead with costly and urgent extensions to our landfills and construct a super incinerator.

We have to wake up and realise that, through these policies, the government is deceiving the people of Hong Kong.

P. Reid, Lantau