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Th? World H?alth Organization ?stimat?s that 4.6 million p?opl? di? ?ach y?ar from caus?s dir?ctly attributabl? to air pollution (Sci?nc? Daily). Air pollution in Hong Kong has b?com? a s?v?r? probl?m in th? r?c?nt y?ars mainly du? to high-d?nsity of motor v?hicl?s, marin? v?ss?ls, and coal-burning pow?r plants. Air pollution in Hong Kong is also compound?d by high l?v?ls of industrial pollution in n?ighbouring Chin?s? factori?s of th? P?arl Riv?r D?lta. Whil? Hong Kong can do littl? to control wind patt?rns from China, it can tak? gr?at?r m?asur?s to combat air pollution. D?spit? conc?rns that imposing strict?r r?gulations conc?rning air pollution will harm Hong Kong’s r?putation as on? of th? most busin?ss-fri?ndly citi?s in th? world, som?thing must b? don?. Hong Kong Gov?rnm?nt must l?gislat? strict?r laws and ?nforc? p?nalti?s to combat air pollution in Hong Kong in ord?r to pr?v?nt furth?r d?struction of th? ?nvironm?nt, saf?guard human h?alth, and mak? Hong Kong a mor? attractiv? plac? to liv? and work.  ?xposur? to outdoor air pollution caus?s 3 million pr?matur? d?aths worldwid? annually, pr?dominantly h?art and lung dis?as? (WHO), of which mor? than 1,600 w?r? in Hong Kong in 2016 (HKU School of Public H?alth). P?opl? ?xpos?d to high l?v?ls of airborn? particulat? and CO2 pollutants ?xp?ri?nc? br?athing difficulti?s and wors?ning of ?xisting lung and h?art conditions and in th? long-t?rm causing canc?r. A 2016 study found that “air pollution incr?as?d th? risk of dying from canc?r by 22% in Hong Kong”(Th? Guardian). Hong Kong fac?s th? s?rious probl?m of air pollution from road and marin? transport, and its proximity to China which is r?sponsibl? for 60-70% of air pollutants (Hong Kong ?nvironm?ntal D?partm?nt). In th? th? first month of 2017, th?r? w?r? mor? than 300,000 doctor’s visits link?d to smog. L?v?ls of canc?r-causing pollutants hav? ?xc??d?d th? WHO norms for th? last 15 y?ars, oft?n 3-5 tim?s mor? than acc?ptabl? l?v?ls. Th? s?rious toxicological impact on human h?alth of air pollution r?sults in mor? d?aths p?r y?ar than automobil? accid?nts (Sci?nc? Daily), th?r?for?, it is vital that th? Hong Kong gov?rnm?nt tak?s imm?diat? m?asur?s to control th? ?mission of CO2 polluting particl?s and particulat?s to prot?ct th? h?alth of its citiz?ns.In addition to b?ing dang?rous to human h?alth, air pollution can hav? s?v?r? n?gativ? ?nvironm?ntal ?ff?cts, such as acid rain, haz?, and global climat? (Int?rgov?rnm?ntal Pan?l on Climat? Chang?). L?ading sci?ntists pr?dict that av?rag? world t?mp?ratur? will ris? by 1.5 to 3.5 d?gr??s c?lsius by th? y?ar 2100, and s?a l?v?ls would ris? b?tw??n 0.25 and 1 m?t?r. ?xtr?m? w?ath?r ?v?nts will happ?n mor? oft?n and b? mor? s?v?r?. Hong Kong in r?c?nt y?ars has ?xp?ri?nc?d a gr?at numb?r of ?nvironm?ntal probl?ms such as s?v?r? black rains, unusually high t?mp?ratur?s, and int?ns? tropical storms. Th?s? ?v?nts caus? irr?parabl? damag? to Hong Kong’s fragil? ?co-syst?m and disrupt th? daily lif? of its r?sid?nts, both th?ir busin?ss and l?isur? activiti?s.    Th? d?trim?ntal ?ff?cts of air pollution on th? ?nvironm?nt and h?alth mak? Hong Kong a l?ss app?aling plac? to liv? and work. Historically, th? city has b??n consid?r?d as on? of th? most dynamic and vibrant plac?s in th? world, attracting p?opl? looking for jobs in proximity with China, a lib?ral, busin?ss-fri?ndly ?nvironm?nt which wh?n combin?d with th? gr?at quality of lif? provid?d by Hong Kong’s ampl? gr??n spac?s and magnific?nt natur? is ?v?n b?tt?r. But this will chang? if Hong Kong do?s not tak? mor? m?asur?s to combat air pollution. R?sid?nts and global compani?s that hav? th?ir h?adquart?rs in Hong Kong will look for oth?r citi?s to liv? and work in, and Hong Kong will los? its comp?titiv? advantag?. Although Hong Kong gov?rnm?nt stat?s that it is addr?ssing th? probl?m of air pollution, many of its actions hav? b??n in?ff?ctiv? b?caus? it do?s not want to j?opardiz? its r?putation as a busin?ss-fri?ndly city and impos? a numb?r of n?w, strict?r r?gulations on n?ighboring factori?s, and transport. Th? gov?rnm?nt has sign?d a s?ri?s of agr??m?nts with Guangdong provinc? dir?ctly to th? north. How?v?r, th?y ar? un?nforc?abl? and hav? fail?d to provid? “a m?aningful impact” according to th? local gov?rnm?nts and activists (Th? Guardian). Hong Kong gov?rnm?nt has not bann?d old?r di?s?l v?hicl?s or r?gulat?d th? l?v?l of sulfur fu?l, which many contain?r ships can burn right up until th?ir sail into port (South China Morning Post MAYB?).  Th? gov?rnm?nt thinks that ?xtra r?gulation will harm its r?putation as a busin?ss-fri?ndly city, but in fact, strict?r m?asur?s to control pollution and improv? th? ?nvironm?nt will in th? long t?rm contribut? to th? h?alth, w?ll-b?ing, and prosp?rity of its citiz?ns. Hong Kong has a lot of sunshin? and winds and can do mor? to promot? wind and solar ?n?rgy, and ?l?ctric v?hicl?s, such as city’s public bus?s and mini-bus?s. Providing inc?ntiv?s to local busin?ss?s to mak? th? city ‘gr??n?r’ will also improv? th? ?conomy.

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In conclusion, th? Hong Kong Gov?rnm?nt n??ds to tak? imm?diat? and s?rious m?asur?s to tackl? th? dang?rous air pollution caus?d by land and s?a transport, pow?r plants and th? n?ighbouring industrial provinc? of Guangdong. Air pollution has alr?ady had a s?v?r? n?gativ? ?ff?ct on th? h?alth of Hong Kong r?sid?nts, on th? b?autiful but fragil? ?nvironm?nt, and on th? city’s r?putation as a gr?at plac? to liv? and work. Whil? in r?c?nt y?ars, Hong Kong has r?cogniz?d th? probl?m, mor? aggr?ssiv? m?asur?s such as tough?r controls on th? v?hicl? and industrial ?missions and targ?t?d support for r?n?wabl? ?n?rgy solutions ar? n??d?d. Finally, a gr?at?r awar?n?ss and a coll?ctiv? ?ffort from r?sid?nts to liv? a gr??n?r way of lif? will ?nhanc? Hong Kong’s quality of lif? now and in th? futur?.


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