CAN is very disappointed that the authorities have decided to shelve the installation of onshore power supply for Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. As the government is going to report to the Panel on Environment of Legislative Council tomorrow on the subject, CAN took the opportunity to protest against Environment Bureau today and to call for immediate installation of OPS.
Members of CAN wore gas masks to represent the silent public that is suffering from toxic air. They performed a silent sit-in around an installation “Death Tower”, symbolizing the death tolls due to emission from cruise ships. CAN’s representative and vice-chairman of the Legislative Council’s committee on environmental affairs, Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, also presented a petition titled “Who moved my Onshore Power Supply?” to Environment Bureau, urging the government to consider social costs resulting from cruise ships emission and act responsibly to protect public health.
According to the 2012 Emission Inventory for Hong Kong published by the Environmental Protection Department, ocean going ships became the number one source of respirable suspended particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide in Hong Kong. Cruise ships accounted for 2.4% of SO2, 0.9% of NOX and 1.5% of PM respectively. As estimated by Hedley Environmental Index, in 2014, air pollution caused 2,616 premature deaths and a loss of 32.657 billion dollars. With the installing of onshore power supply, the death number could be reduced by 42 and 523 million could be gained annually.
Clean Air Network CEO Sum Yin Kwong says, “The social benefits of installing Onshore power supply outweighs the cost of its construction. Given the proximity of the pollution source from Kai Tak to the Kowloon East residents, the government should install onshore power supply at once to protect their health.”
Legislator Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok also criticizes the government for lack of commitment to protecting public health.
CAN also urges, in the meantime, the government should consider other measures such as tighter standard for fuel and switching to 0.1 sulphur fuel inside Hong Kong waters, so as to reduce public exposure to toxic air.