|HONG KONG TO PHASE OUT PRE-EURO IV DIESEL COMMERCIAL VEHICLES|
Aruba, October 15, 2013 - Hong Kong seeks to phase out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles to improve the regions roadside air quality and better protect the public’s health.
According to a paper tabled to the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs, an incentive-cum-regulatory approach is being proposed. While at the same time, the Environmental Protection Department is also seeking to limit the service life of newly registered diesel commercial vehicles to 15 years – this includes goods vehicles, minibuses, and non-franchised buses.
Additionally, the Environmental Protection Department has raised its proposed subsidy to phase out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles by $3 billion, bringing the total to $11.71 billion. Environment Secretary KS Wong said that the proposal strikes a balance between transport trade concerns and public health. He appealed to the industry to phase out the vehicles as soon as possible to improve roadside air quality.
The proposal could phase out around 80,000 pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles, and reduce emissions of respirable suspended particulates by 80 percent and nitrogen oxides by 30 percent.
If the proposal is approved by the council, a new regulation will be proposed under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, imposing requirements for granting vehicle licenses under the Road Traffic Ordinance. The proposed regulation will then be tabled to the council in late October or early November for negative vetting, to be implemented in the first quarter of 2014.
Another step that the Government of Hong Kong is taking to further improve roadside air quality is to use zero-emission buses – an initiative that is in line with the region’s Clean Air Plan.