138. In recent years, the Government has made strenuous
efforts to improve air quality, including allocating $11.4 billion to
phase out 82 000 diesel commercial vehicles of pre-Euro IV
emission standard by 2020, strengthening emission control on
vehicles, and making Hong Kong the first Asian city to mandate
ocean-going vessels at berth to switch to low-sulphur fuel.
Notable results have been achieved. In the past few years, air
pollutants (including nitrogen dioxide and PM 2.5 which are
more difficult to tackle) have been reduced by up to about 30%.
Last month, the HKSAR Government signed an agreement with
the Mainland to jointly promote the establishment of an emission
control area in the Pearl River Delta waters to regulate emissions
from marine vessels. Furthermore, the Government is exploring
technologies that can improve the fuel efficiency and
environmental effectiveness of local ferries.