As several studies have shown, crowded urban areas and high levels of air pollution typically go hand in hand. On the other hand, high levels of air pollution and a rather impressive number of premature deaths are very much intertwined.Because of this, officials in Hong Kong have recently decided that something must be done in order to improve on air quality in this part of China, and have agreed that the best way to achieve this would be to ban high-polluting vehicles altogether.
They hope that this will help them put a leash on the amount of smog that is now floating about this crowded urban area and which can be linked to as many as 300,000 premature deaths yearly.
Tree Hugger explains that, according to several reports, Hong Kong has never managed to meet its air quality standards, despite their having been in place for nearly 25 years now. Moreover, things have only taken a turn for the worse throughout the past 10 years.
As one spokesperson for the government said, “Last year saw 175 days of very high pollution, more than twice the figure from 2007.”
The official announcement for this plan to improve on air quality in Hong Kong is to be made this coming January by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Should things go as planned, the new legislation should be in place as early as the year 2014.
According to the same source, this ban is to target commercial diesel vehicles first and foremost, seeing how they presently constitute the city's main source of air pollution.
Reports show that, for the time being, roughly 121,300 such cars are being driven on the streets of Hong Kong on a yearly basis, so outlawing them might just do the trick and clear some of the smog.
As well as this, the government wishes to facilitate the replacing of diesel-powered buses and trucks by means of subsidies.
Hopefully, these measures will help bring down Hong Kong's overall count for cases of premature deaths linked to air pollution.