Non-governmental organisations have made a bigger contribution towards improving Hong Kong's environment than the government, business decision-makers and opinion leaders believe. Of 400 respondents interviewed in August for the SCMP/TNS poll, 42 per cent rated NGOs as the bodies which had made 'a great contribution' or 'some contribution' to improving the environment. Only 13 per cent of respondents rated the government's efforts as highly in this category, while the business community received only 8 per cent. Forty-six per cent ranked economic activities in Guangdong as the main cause of air pollution in Hong Kong, followed by local vehicle emissions at 29 per cent. Twenty-seven per cent said the Guangdong provincial government was to blame for air pollution in the province, followed by 21 per cent for the central government. One in 10 believed the Hong Kong government should take responsibility for the problem. While an environmental activist said the figures showed opinion leaders' disappointment in the Hong Kong government's lack of action in tackling pollution, a lawmaker said he believed the administration should not be made a scapegoat. Friends of the Earth's environmental affairs manager Hahn Chu Hon-keung said the results showed the respondents believed the government had not taken correct and pragmatic steps to improve the environment. 'It is clear that [the respondents] think the NGOs had done the right thing to reach certain goals ... meanwhile, they think the government is not doing anything really helpful and practical by simply yelling some slogans.' He pointed to the Action Blue Sky campaign, which chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen launched in July, as mere 'slogan-chanting' to pave the way for Mr Tsang's re-election next year. But legislator Sin Chung-kai, the Democratic Party's spokesman on the environment, said the government should not be solely blamed. 'What the poll showed is the feeling that respondents had - it's really easy to blame the government. [Green groups] often come out on Sundays to hold press conferences. But does it mean they've done more practical things than the government?' He said there was not much the government could do because the main source of air pollution was Guangdong. 'Of course, there are areas where the government could do more. But when the pollution is mainly from outside our border, it would be difficult for them to tackle it directly.' The Environmental Protection Department did not comment on the figures.