Rethinking the sources of air pollution and urban policies in Hong Kong

Paulina PY WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


Air pollution has been widely recognized as a significant global public health risk factor. The dangerous air pollutants have been rated as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). For the last few decades, the rapid development of Mainland China and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) has resulted in severe air pollution and transboundary pollutants impacting Hong Kong, particularly during cool seasons. In recent years, effective regional cooperation with strict regulations and emissions standards was enforced, and the air quality in both Hong Kong and PRD had seen major improvements. However, the air pollution in Hong Kong continues to greatly exceed the Air Quality Objectives set by the WHO guidelines.

To effectively manage the air pollution of Hong Kong through regulations and improve public health advisories, it is crucial to rethink and identify the sources of air pollution. Are the biggest pollution sources still primarily coming from cross-border pollution originating in China? Do other fixed and mobile local sources play a major role in the overall deterioration of air quality in Hong Kong? Answers to these questions will help to gain greater awareness of the local pollution hotspots.

This chapter aims to present a grounded and neutral overview of the double exposure of transboundary air pollution and local emissions in Hong Kong. Still, the underlying argument involves the increase of local emissions, relaxed regulations, and non-compliance with WHO standards. These major issues and challenges in the future demand a rethink. Ultimately, recommendations on assessment methods and adaptive solutions are also discussed, hoping to increase the effectiveness of air pollution controls and better advise the government to be more responsive to local air problems, and to take appropriate preventative and mitigative actions to maximize the quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAir pollution Governance in East Asia
EditorsKuei-Tien CHOU, Koichi HASEGAWA, Dowan KU, Shu-Fen KAO
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781000573855
ISBN (Print)9781000573855, 9781032078342
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Contemporary Asia Ser.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Kuei-Tien Chou, Koichi Hasegawa, Dowan Ku and Shu-Fen Kao; individual chapters, the contributors.


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