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  • Dec 29, 2014
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NewsHong Kong

Task force wants Hong Kong lights switched off by midnight

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 7:14am

Most of the flash and glitter will vanish from Hong Kong's brightly lit commercial areas after midnight if a government task force's recommendations are accepted.

But it remained uncertain yesterday if a law would be passed to make this happen after the group - set up in 2011 to look at ways of saving energy and cutting light pollution - said a public consultation would be held in the face of opposition from the tourism and entertainment sectors.

In a paper submitted to the Legislative Council yesterday, the task force says decorative lighting and advertising signs should be switched off after 11pm or midnight, even during Christmas and the Lunar New Year festival.

This would include shop signs, advertising signs, video walls, decorative lighting for facades and display signs on top of hotels and commercial buildings, the group, comprising 19 members from green groups and industries, said.

But a public consultation will be conducted in two months on whether to make it compulsory and when exactly the lights should be switched off.

"I'm disappointed," task force member and Friends of the Earth general-affairs director Edwin Lau Che-feng said. "The discussion has been ongoing for two years but the task force still fails to come up with clear directions."

Lights should be turned off by 11pm, he said, with exemptions only for 24-hour shops, nightclubs and mahjong parlours.

Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun said the party was open to the proposal: "We do think the lighting of retail shops is a bit overdone sometimes."



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This article is now closed to comments

gimmie a break, go hug a tree. There are a lot more problems in this world than worrying about turning lights off
Task force busy-bodies on the prowl.
A lot of the city lights are way too extravagent, and totally unnecessary. The energy and the green house gases resulted from the energy to use is a real threat. If you don't legislate it they will ignore it.
As a stargazer, I used to be able to stargaze even in middle of Kowloon, but not now. I just hope you give us back a patch of the starry skies everynight from midnight to 6am.
please don't accept this policy. hong kong needs light for its people and tourism. hong kong is beautiful due to these lights.
A bad idea from the environmental-cult crowd. This proposal will destroy the great aesthetic value of Hong Kong - the amazing night-time glitter and energy. Vancouver tried it in the 60s in a crusade against neon signs, and ruined many thriving parts of the city in the attempt.
I offer a modest proposal, why not build Thermal Depolymerization refineries and use environmental activists as a feedstock? It would provide very "green" sources of petroleum fuels, and would cut down on CO2 emissions! It's a win-win for the environment and the economy!
Or thinking less ambitiously, why not use Hong Kong's natural gifts, and put tidal stream generators in the waterways? You could probably reduce the need for coal entirely with it.
About time a bit of common sense percolates through the HK government - I just hope the policy is compulsory.


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