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Hong Kong to host emissions forum this week

Free event to discuss the reduction of ship emissions in the Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta region.

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Updated on 08 Nov 2011 06:16 GMT

Hong Kong public policy think tank, Civic Exchange, will be hosting a free forum on marine emissions later this week.

The event, entitled "The Air We Breathe 3: A Pan-PRD Dialogue on Marine Emissions", is funded by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Environment Conservation Fund, and will bring together scientists, government officials, business leaders and academics to discuss reducing vessel emissions in the Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta (HK-PRD) region and around the world.

Some of the key questions to be discussed include: What is the public health impact that emissions from these sources have? What is being done in HK-PRD to address this challenge? What is international best practice? What would regulation look like across the PRD?

A total of 18 leading shipping lines have already signed up to the The Fair Winds Charter - a voluntary scheme under which the companies have committed to burning fuel with a sulphur content of not more than 0.5% when at berth in Hong Kong. At the same time, Guangdong and Hong Kong governments have released several policy documents over the last three years indicating that reducing vessel emissions – from local craft as well as ocean-going vessels – deserves attention.

Please find details regarding the event below.

Date: Saturday 12 November 2011
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm (registration from 9:00am)
Location: YMCA – 3/F South Tower, 41 Salisbury Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Language: With simultaneous translation in Cantonese and English

Registration: The event is free of charge, but registration is essential as spaces are limited. Please fill in the following form for registration.

Should you have any further questions, please contact Civic Exchange by email (Michelle Wong: mwong@civic-exchange.org).

Interim Programme

09.00am Registration

SESSION 1: Introduction
09.30am Welcome by Civic Exchange (Moderator by Christine Loh)
09.35am Welcome by Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment, Environment Bureau
09.45am Hong Kong and shipping in context – Shipping 101” and regional policy developments (By Veronica Booth, Civic Exchange)

SESSION 2: What ships do, and what they can do
09.55am Health impacts of emissions from ships – The impact of emissions from vessels on public health in coastal areas(By Dr James Corbett, University of Delaware)
10.10am Extent of emissions from ships in Hong Kong – Findings from the EPD’s Hong Kong marine emissions inventory (By Simon Ng, HKUST)
10.25am The Fair Winds Charter – Hong Kong’s voluntary at-berth fuel switch (By HKLSA)
10.40am Controlling emissions from the marine sector in Hong Kong – Best practices of using ULSD in local vessels in Hong Kong (Tony Lee, HK Environmental Protection Department)
10.55am Morning Tea

Response from Panel
– Pia Berglund, European Maritime Safety Agency
– Dr TW Wong, Chinese University of Hong Kong
– Wayne Elson, US Environmental Protection Agency
11.45am Q&A
12.30pm Thanks and Close

Speaker/panellist biographies have been provided below.

Pia Berglund is Project Officer at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). She is currently working as Project Manager for Legal Aspects of Maritime Safety, Environmental Protection, Marine Environment, Training and Statistics at the EMSA in Lisbon. At EMSA, she works with questions relating to air pollution in general, but focusing specifically on sulphur related issues. Ms Berglund is seconded by the Government of Sweden, where she is employed at the Swedish Transport Agency and holds the post as Head of the International Liaison Unit at the Maritime Department. She has been active in negotiations for Sweden within the EU and IMO for more than 10 years. She holds a Master in Law.

Veronica Booth is Senior Project Manager at Civic Exchange. Since joining Civic Exchange in 2003, she has directed high-profile multi-stakeholder projects and worked on a range of issues ranging from sustainable urban development, air pollution its public health effects, and political reform and development in Hong Kong. Since 2007, Booth has been the principal investigator of Civic Exchange’s “Green Harbours” work, which included convening shipping stakeholders to draft the Fair Winds Charter. Booth holds an MA in political science.

James J. Corbett, P.E., Ph.D. conducts technology-policy research related to transportation, including groundbreaking research on air emissions from maritime transport, energy and environmental impacts of freight transportation, and assessment of technological and policy strategies for improving goods movement. Dr. Corbett is a Professor in the College of Earth Ocean and Environment with joint appointment in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware. He is a leading collaborator in a multi-university Sustainable Intermodal Freight Transportation Research program, an international research collaboration to improve the effective use of highway, waterway, railroad, and air transportation infrastructure. Dr. Corbett coauthored the first two global studies assessing health impacts from international shipping, including evaluation of the potential mitigation of emerging international policy reducing shipping emissions.

Wayne Elson works in the Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics in the EPA Regional Office in Seattle, Washington. Wayne serves as the Mobile Source Air Quality technical expert in support of EPA’s review of State Implementation Plans under the Clean Air Act. He is a member of the Regional Diesel Team which supports the diesel emission reduction efforts of EPA, and the West Coast Collaborative. His is lead for the Construction Sector for the Collaborative. He also a active in the Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition. Wayne’s technical expertise includes mobile emissions modeling, transportation control measures and transportation planning, and transportation conformity under the Clean Air Act.

Tony YT Lee is Senior Environmental Protection Officer (Air Policy) for the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department. With more than 10 years’ experience in combating air pollution and being specialized in mobile source emission control, Mr Lee is now involved in developing policies and managing programmes on controlling air pollution from the marine sector.

Ms Christine Loh is the co-founder and CEO of Civic Exchange. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, as well as a board member of various local and international companies and foundations, including the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, Tällberg Foundation, East West Institute, and Community Business. She is actively engaged in numerous non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong relating to sustainability, urban planning and design, and human rights, including Clean Air Network and Society for Protection of the Harbour.

Simon K W Ng received his training as a geographer at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Cambridge, UK. He is now a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Environment of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a Senior Research Fellow of Civic Exchange. Simon’s works includes research and teaching on sustainable transportation, liveable cities, air quality issues, and local community planning. At present, he is taking a leading role in a number of studies on marine vessels emission in Hong Kong. He has been working closely with the industry, the government, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to reduce ship and port emissions in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region.

Joanne Ooi co-founded Clean Air Network with other prominent environmentalists in July 2009. CAN has quickly become the fastest-growing environmental NGO in Hong Kong. In addition to conducting the biggest environmental campaign in Hong Kong’s history, Ooi has spearheaded and innovated the use of social media in the NGO industry in Asia. Prior to CAN, Ooi was the Creative Director of Shanghai Tang. Largely credited with the turn-around of Shanghai Tang, Ooi has been profiled in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Good Morning America and appeared on the cover of Fast Company Magazine, among many other international media. Ooi graduated from Columbia University and has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Wong Tze Wai is an environmental epidemiologist and occupational physician at the School of Public Health and Primary care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with experience in public health practice and research over a wide variety of topics that including environmental health (air pollution and health, and dioxins). He recently headed a study on the Air Pollution Reporting System commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department, and another on exposure to dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants among women in Hong Kong, commissioned by the Department of Health. His recent efforts are focused on air pollution control, and he has been a vocal advocate for the improvement of air quality in Hong Kong.

Secretary Edward Yau is Secretary for the Environment of Hong Kong. He oversees the policies for promoting the environmental well-being of Hong Kong, which is one of the priorities of the third term HKSAR Government (2007-2012). Mr Yau’s responsibilities cover environmental protection, energy, nature conservation and sustainable development, with a view to building Hong Kong into a greener city. Mr Yau took with him to his ministerial post more than 20 years of public administration experience. He joined the Government as an Administrative Officer in 1981. He has embarked on an exercise to update Hong Kong’s Air Quality Objectives, with an aim of benchmarking the Air Quality Guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation as the ultimate goal. Mr Yau graduated from the University of Hong Kong. He received further education at Oxford University and at Harvard University.

Related Links:

Hong Kong to consider ECA for ocean-going ships
OOCL joins Hong Kong low sulphur initiative
Asia's first fuel switch programme
Hong Kong studies emission-reducing initiatives
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