Civic Exchange Commends the Shipping Industry for Extending the Fair Winds Charter

Civic Exchange commends the shipping industry for extending the Fair Winds Charter to the end of 2014. This is a welcoming move from the industry, showing once again how committed they are in reducing ship emissions in Hong Kong, supporting government legislation for at-berth fuel switching, and promoting similar practices and regulations across the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.

Ships are the major source of air pollution in Hong Kong, and the government is stepping up its effort to control ship emissions. In January 2014, the government gazetted a new regulation to tighten the quality of marine light diesel for local vessels. Later this year, a new regulation on at-berth fuel switching for ocean-going vessels will be tabled in the Legislative Council for negative vetting and approval. In the long term, the government has set the goal of designating an emission control area in the PRD waters. These measures, if implemented, will significantly reduce ship emissions and protect public health in this region.

Facilitated by Civic Exchange and championed by the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association (HKLSA) and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA), the Fair winds Charter was first rolled out in 2011 for two years. This is the world’s first industry-led, voluntary at-berth fuel switching programme to reduce ship emissions. Subsequently, the Fair Winds Charter was extended to 2013, and now extended again to 2014. It is estimated that the Fair Winds Charter contributed a reduction of 890 and 670 tonnes of sulphur dioxide in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

“The announcement of the Fair Winds Charter extension is excellent! Since inception, the Fair Winds Charter has been lauded as a huge success both in terms of reducing ship emissions and fostering private-public partnership in emissions control. Civic Exchange is proud to be part of that process, and I want to congratulate and thank the shipping industry for their relentless effort and commitment in this course. The Fair Winds Charter has attracted a lot of interests and praise from other parts of the world. Hong Kong should be extremely proud of this achievement”, said Simon Ng, Head of Transport and Sustainability Research 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. For information about the Fair Winds Charter, please visit http://civic-exchange.org/materials/theme/files/FWC.html