Hong Kong Government Press Release
9th February 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) announced today an overview of Hong Kong’s air quality in 2022. The overall air quality in Hong Kong has shown a discernible improvement.
The air quality data recorded by the EPD’s air quality monitoring stations in 2022 reveal that Hong Kong’s overall air quality in 2022 complied broadly with Hong Kong’s Air Quality Objectives. The annual average concentrations of respirable suspended particulates (PM10), fine suspended particulates (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the ambient air have reduced by 43 per cent to 62 per cent from 2013. In the same period, the annual average pollutants concentrations at the roadside have reduced by 47 per cent to 64 per cent. The annual average concentration of ozone (O3) gradually turned steady in the past few years. The number of hours of reduced visibility in Hong Kong has greatly reduced by 74 per cent from its peak in 2004.
As for relatively high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) being recorded in some locations in Hong Kong, such as Kwun Tong, Causeway Bay and Kwai Chung, an EPD spokesman said, “With the Government’s continued promotion and implementation of the comprehensive air quality improvement measures put forth in the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles, Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035 and Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 announced in 2021 as well as the promotion of electric vehicles, green transport and carbon reduction measures, local NOx emissions will be further reduced and the overall air quality in Hong Kong will improve continuously.”
To combat the regional ozone issue, the governments of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao are now conducting a three-year joint study on “Characterization of photochemical ozone formation, regional and super-regional transportation in the Greater Bay Area (GBA)” to better understand the origin of ozone formation and its transportation characteristics. The findings will provide scientific supports to help devise improvement measures. The Hong Kong and Guangdong governments have also completed a study on post-2020 regional air pollutant emission reduction targets and concentration levels and will jointly combat the regional ozone problem with a view to further improving the air quality in the Pearl River Delta Region.
In addition, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is planning to set up a supersite for GBA air quality laboratory and meteorology monitoring in Hong Kong. The supersite will be equipped with world-class advanced equipment to further enhance Hong Kong’s regional air pollution monitoring and forecasting capability that can monitor more effectively the regional distribution of ozone and its two precursor pollutants (i.e. NOx and volatile organic compounds) so as to have a better understanding of the photochemistry mechanism involved for mapping out suitable and effective emission control strategies at regional level.
At the same time, the Environment and Ecology Bureau has embarked on a new round of Air Quality Objectives Review with a view to exploring the scope for further tightening the objectives, and aims at completing the review in 2023.