Saturday, January 19, 2013

HK Updates: 88k diesel vehicles to be scrapped (18 Jan 2013)

88k diesel vehicles to be scrapped
January 18, 2013
PhotoThe Government will adopt a “carrot and stick” approach to phase out heavily polluting diesel commercial vehicles, Secretary for the Environment KS Wong says, adding a total of $10 billion has been earmarked for ex-gratia payments to owners of such vehicles.
Speaking at a press conference today to detail initiatives in the 2013 Policy Address under his purview, Mr Wong said the payments will be given to vehicle owners who scrap their pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles.
The payment level will be correlated inversely with the vehicle’s age, giving extra impetus for their owners to take action earlier, he noted.

The “stick”will be to set a 15-year service life limit on newly registered diesel commercial vehicles.
The move will help phase out 88,000 pre-Euro and Euro I to III diesel vehicles in stages by 2019.
He also noted Hong Kong is facing an imminent waste problem, and the amount of solid waste per capita per day is higher than that of other advanced cities in the region. Existing landfills will be full in the next few years.
To combat the problem, the Government is preparing a waste-management blueprint to be published in the first quarter of this year with waste reduction at source as its focus. The aim is to ensure more resources can be reused, recycled and recovered.  
At the same time, the Government has engaged the Council for Sustainable Development to consult the public on details of a municipal solid waste charging scheme.
To enhance public awareness of the need for environmental protection, and to build up a green community, the Government will inject $5 billion into the Environment & Conservation Fund.
Mr Wong said five pilot “community green stations” will also be set up in phases from late 2013 to promote green living.
The Government strives to promote low-carbon living, he said. He will chair a newly established inter-departmental steering committee to map out strategies on green buildings and to promote energy saving, as well as other environmental sustainability measures.
On nature conservation, he said the Government will map out a biodiversity strategy and action plan to be implemented in 2015.

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