Buck-passing on Hong Kong Air Pollution must stop!

Press release - 2005-09-29
Greenpeace today took action to expose the buck-passing between the SAR government and the two power companies over action to mitigate the city’s atrocious air pollution. Greenpeace volunteers performed a social satire involving two clowns passing a black ball between them, ahead of a special Legislative Council (Legco) Environmental Affairs Panel on the environmental aspects of the 04-08 financial plans of China Light and Power (CLP) and Hong Kong Electric (HEC).

Greenpeace volunteers satirise the ‘buck-passing’ between HK government and power companies, CLP and HEC, which results in a lack of action to address the city’s atrocious air pollution partly caused by burning coal for energy.

"Coal-burning power plants are the major source of air pollution in the region, an effective control and reduction of the emission of pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels is the key to improving air quality", said Greenpeace campaigner on Air pollution, Chow Sze-chung as he presented CLP and HEC representatives with a manifesto for them to take responsibility and action to meet pollution emissions target.

The Economic Development and Labour Bureau submitted two reports on the 2004-08 financial plans of the power companies to the Legislative Council in July this year. The reports stated that CLP and HEC would not be able to meet the emissions target set by Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department and Guangdong Provincial Government in 2003 under the "Pearl River Delta Region Air Quality Management Plan". (1)

CLP and HEC justify their failure to fulfill the target by citing delays in installing Flue Gas Desurflurzation (FGD) and Low Nitrogen oxides Burner (LNB) systems, and the lack of cost effective technology to reduce Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP) emissions. The SAR Chief Executive and Executive Council, however, ordered the legislative council to accept the financial plans.

Chow added that the SAR government stance makes it easier for CLP and HEC to avoid their corporate social responsibility to lessen air pollution and address global warming by using the pretext of cost effectiveness. Greenpeace also demands that the SAR administration implement the emissions reduction target and urgently commit to a timetable, with CLP and HEC, for the development of renewal energy to solve the problems of air pollution and global warming.

Other contacts:

Chow Sze-chung, Air Pollution campaigner +852 28548332
Azure Ho, Media Officer +852 28548326

Notes:

1. According to the Control Plan, the emission of RSP (Respirable Suspended Particulates), VOC (Volatile organic compounds), SO2 (Sulfur dioxide) and NOx (nitrogen oxide) in the region has to be reduced respectively by 55%, 55%, 40% and 20% by 2010, using 1997 figures as the benchmark.

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