Re ECF Project: 2011-04

Project Title: Shipping Dialogue: Reducing Emissions from Vessels in Hong Kong and the PRD

Applicant: Ms Christine LOH of Civic Exchange

Total Approved Grant: $498,158 (or 70% of the total actual expenditure, whichever the less)

Duration: 15/6/2011 to 15/2/2012

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

This project is a one and a half-day conference on 11 and 12 November 2011. The objectives of the project are:

  • to communicate the importance of reducing vessel emissions across the Pearl River Delta region to the public and raise awareness;
  • to provide an opportunity to publicize the findings of a new inventory of marine pollution in Hong Kong conducted by Hong Kong University of Science & Technology on behalf of the Hong Kong Government; and
  • to invite international experts to share their experience in implementing Emission Control Areas and at-berth fuel switching to build capacity amongst local stakeholders based on this knowledge.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:

  1. The public health impact of vessel emissions is understood by industry and government, and should drive policy.
    • A PRD Emission Control Area is the most effective way to achieve the greatest public health benefits.
  2. Industry wants regulation, as the cost of a voluntarily switching to cleaner but more expensive fuel is a burden.
    • Fair Winds Charter has created momentum in the industry, which wants regulation.
    • Proper enforcement mechanisms must be implemented with regulation.
    • A discussion in Hong Kong about southern China can resonate beyond the region.
  3. Communication between regional government bodies and industry is critical.
    • Maintaining discussion amongst government and industry is key.
    • A policy time frame is important for industry to understand government’s intent, and to plan.
  4. Smaller carriers, smaller vessels and ports require additional support.
    • Smaller shipping companies face different pressures from larger firms, and must be supported.
  1. Greater understanding in regional governments of industry’s dedication to regulation.
  2. A request from industry for faster regulation, and for incentives to support voluntary initiatives.
  3. Greater awareness in the public of the extent of emissions from vessels.
  4. Understanding that engagement work must continue in order to maintain momentum gained over the two days, and extend to more PRD stakeholders.