Eyes on PolyU

Clean air for us and the environment

We cannot see air, but it is all around us and we can feel it when it moves. The vast majority of life on earth need air to live and to be specific, we need the oxygen in the air to survive. But do we know enough about air quality and how it is associated with global warming?

In a recent webinar, the University community met Mr Patrick Fung from the Clean Air Network and had the opportunity to learn more about air pollution health risks in the city. Patrick believed that there was still insufficient awareness of air pollution, and he saw the need to build knowledge among the public by sharing more scientific studies across different sectors.

Mr Patrick Fung meets the University community online

Patrick shared his views that improvement and solutions to improve air quality in Hong Kong are evident in recent years. Legislation and policies have been implemented and the government has taken action to retire old diesel commercial vehicles resulting in a significant drop in roadside emissions. Nevertheless, there is much more we can do.

Explaining what we can do to tackle air pollution

We should be aware that air pollution is one of the critical environmental challenges that affect public health in the city and across the world. The best way to reduce human exposure to air pollution is to control air pollution at source. It will be good if we aim high – we need to move away from diesel-based vehicles as much as we can and adopt a more sustainable transportation system with electric vehicles. We can cycle or walk more often and use public transport instead of driving for long journey. We also need to eye on marine vehicles as well and cut marine emissions. Legislation requiring marine vehicles to change to cleaner fuel sources can help, but that will mean appropriate policy intervention.

The sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases are often the same. Tackling cities’ air pollution can also bring climate benefits. Are we ready to take ambitious action to get better air for better health and a better environment?

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