Abandon “Economy Overrides All” Mindset! Fake Consultation by Airport Authority Underestimate Pollution
Fake Consultation by Airport Authority Underestimate Pollution
12 Infrastructures on Lantau and in Tuen Mun
Exceed Environmental Threshold
Air Pollution threaten 600,000 Tung Chung and Tuen Mun Residents
Abandon “Economy Overrides All” Mindset!
Today is the World Environment Day. We urge all citizens of Hong Kong to oppose the construction of the third Runway of the Hong Kong International Airport. Such opposition is, at present, the most effective way to protect our environment.
Aviation industry is a polluting industry. A significant amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be emitted during flights. The greenhouse effect produced by upper-air emission of carbon dioxide is double that made near the ground. However, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (Airport Authority) has barely mentioned the increase of carbon emission in its consultation paper (Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030). Nowadays, more and more citizens are adopting a lifestyle of low carbon emission. Ironically, however hard we tried to reduce of use of airconditioning, to enforce legislation related to idling engines, and to replace old buses, still, we can hardly cancel out 50% increase of the carbon emission generated by the three-runway system. The omission of this environmental destruction is surely a loophole of the consultation paper.
The consultation paper has also omitted the threshold of environmental sustainability. There are already 5 polluting facilities in Tuen Mun District and North Lantau. If those under consultation and planning are included, namely, the third runway, Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Reclamation Works, Incinerator at Tsang Tsui, Sludge incineration facility, Reclamation for Tung Chung New Town, Logistic Park and the possible railway connecting the airport of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. There will be 12 polluting infrastructures concentrated. The carrying capacity of the whole area is clearly exceeded. Among the 7 polluting infrastructuresyet to be constructed, some require huge area of reclamation; some at the same time produce lots of air pollutants. If the North Lantau coastline is reclaimed for the third runway, the channel (between the North Lantau and Tuen Mun) will face the same fate of Victoria Harbour and become narrower and narrower. Surely regrets will not help at that time. Moreover, the severe sir pollution generated by these infrastructures threaten the health of 600,000 Tung Chung and Tuen Mun Residents.
Another problem of the consultation paper is that it releases misleading information in relation to the impact on the Chinese White Dolphins. According to the consultation paper, the proposed reclamation area is a wide stretch of Contaminated Mud Pits. It claims that it is an area of low Chinese White Dolphins abundance. Therefore, the area has little marine conservation value but reclamation. We, Green Sense, thinks that the conclusion of the above two observation is erred because of lack of common sense. As the government designated the area as Contaminated Mud Pits, Chinese White Dolphins does not stay for long. The Dolphins dash and pass because of the is turbance of the marine environment. As a result, they are not counted. Yet it does not mean they don’t use the area to and from the three core areas. The professional knowledge and independence of the consultants of the Airport Authority are under serious doubt.
Improving the current two runways(first option of the consultation) can ensure a limit of pollutants and carbon emission, while the third runway (second option of the construction) will increase the emissions endlessly. The construction of the third runway reflects the old fashioned mindset of trading environmental quality for economic gains. We, Green Sense, sincerely invite all Hong Kong citizens to seriously think about whether we should still adopt the said old fashioned mindset for thefuture of Hong Kong.