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Donald Tsang's repeated lies inspire 10,000 people to sign clean air petition

(Press Release 16/01/2012) Recent data have shown that roadside air pollution in Hong Kong has worsened to a severe and dangerous level - last year, the Air Pollution Index exceeded 100 for a total of 1,247 hours, a 28% increase from 2010. Chief Executive Donald Tsang has repeatedly pledged to improve the city's air quality, but to no avail. During his seven years in office, he has been all talk and no action on the issue, at the expense of 6,642 people dying due to air pollution.

Direct quotes from Donald Tsang, including the three times he mentioned updating Hong Kong¡¦s air quality standards, called Air Quality Objectives (AQOs), in his various policy addresses, are clear examples of his empty words - "[We should] adopt decisive measures as soon as possible to improve air quality;" "The government is determined to combat air pollution in order to protect public health... the Chief Secretary for Administration will plan ahead with this in mind;" ¡§I promise you that an announcement [for new AQOs] will be made within this year [2011]." "The government will draft and propose the new AQOs to present to Legco."

His lack of action galvanized environmental organizations Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Clean Air Network (CAN) to come forward today. The two organizations jointly went to the Central Government Office to perform a skit satirizing Donald Tsang lying over and over to the detriment of public health and at the cost of human lives.

Tomorrow, FoE (HK) and CAN will run an advertisement in Ming Pao Daily featuring the names of over 10,000 people of the public who signed a petition in support of clean air. The ad will outline the petition¡¦s three demands to the Government:
1) update the Air Quality Objectives, in order to better protect public health;
2) include fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in its official air quality monitoring;
3) set up additional protocols to ensure regular review of the Air Quality Objectives.

Included amongst the signatories are Dr. Chan Hak-kan, Legislative Councillor Leung Kwok-hung (Long Hair); Legislative Councillor Lee Kwok-Lun; the Civic Party; the Democratic Party; Hong Kong University¡¦s School of Public Health; Chinese University Hong Kong¡¦s School of Public health and Primary Care; the Hong Kong Doctors¡¦ Union; the Hong Kong Pediatric Society; the Hong Kong Asthma Society and many other political and medical party members and associations. Environmental groups that have signed included Greenpeace and Greeners Action, amongst others.

The hope is that the scale of this petition with its demands for cleaner air will remind the next Chief Executive to uphold his responsibility to protect public health.

40Donald Tsang keeps lying on air policy

41Bad air quality killed 6641 people in Donald Tsang's administration

42public can't wait the delay of updating AQO

43Donald Tsang looked on his folded arm to the public surrounded by bad air quality

For media enquiries, please contact:

Friends of the Earth (FoE)
Senior Environmental Affairs Officer
Thomas Choi

Clean Air Network (CAN)
Campaign Manager
Erica Chan

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