Hong Kong 25 January 2013 – Civic Exchange is proud to be a supporting organization of the shipping industry-led Fair Winds Charter 2013 (FWC 2013), announced today. FWC 2013 is an extension of the previous Charter that expired end of December last year. Signatories will now voluntarily switch to low sulphur fuel (sulphur content of 0.5% or less) while at berth in Hong Kong until the end of 2013.
Chief Executive CY Leung committed last week in his maiden Policy Address to legislate at-berth fuel switching in Hong Kong, which is a major policy breakthrough in ship emissions control. Today’s announcement about FWC 2013 is a timely reminder of the great effort the shipping industry has put together over the last few years to clean-up their ships, and also a significant gesture of support to the new administration when it comes to at-berth fuel switching regulation in Hong Kong.
“Ships are a major source of air pollution in Hong Kong, affecting the health of the people. We applaud the shipping industry’s on-going effort to clean-up, and their voluntary FWC 2011-12 contributed to a significant reduction in sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions at major berthing locations. What we want to see now is to keep up the momentum from the industry, by bringing other shipping companies onboard to FWC 2013, like the cruise ship companies, before regulation is put in place,” said Simon Ng, Head of Transport and Sustainability Research at Civic Exchange.
“Together, FWC 2011-12 and FWC 2013 provide a strong and sustained message from industry to regional governments that the region needs regulation in line with international standards. Mandatory at-berth fuel switching is only the first step towards addressing emissions from ships. Region-wide regulations must follow quickly, in order to improve air quality for the entire Pearl River Delta region,” added Veronica Booth, Senior Project Manager at Civic Exchange.
Since 2008, Civic Exchange has been actively convening and facilitating discussions for local and regional governments, shipping and container terminal industries, and air quality and logistics experts to tackle emissions from shipping and port activities. The original FWC was launched since 2011 as a way for the Hong Kong shipping industry to call for regulation across the Pearl River Delta region, and show their commitment by paying for the fuel switch. In addition to the Chief Executive’s Policy Address statement, the Environmental Protection Department and Marine Department also responded