MAK­ING THE SWITCH

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

Over the past four years, more than a dozen ma­jor shipping com­pa­nies have vol­un­tar­ily switched to us­ing cleaner fuel while berthed in Hong Kong, sav­ing the city from thou­sands of tonnes of emis­sions. They made the switch un­der the Fair Winds Char­ter, a scheme ini­ti­ated by Civic Ex­change, the Hong Kong Liner Shipping As­so­ci­a­tion and the Hong Kong Shipown­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in 2011. The char­ter ex­pires at the end of the year, so en­act­ing leg­is­la­tion to re­quire switch­ing is the log­i­cal next step to en­sure ev­ery­one takes part in con­trol­ling marine emis­sions, says Tung Chee-chen, chair­man of shipping and lo­gis­tics gi­ant OOCL. In this way, re­spon­si­ble car­ri­ers won’t lose out fi­nan­cially. Loh pre­dicts the gov­ern­ment will en­act such leg­is­la­tion by the end of the year, a move that East­ern World­wide shipping mag­nate Al­bert Wong

en­thu­si­as­ti­cally sup­ports and de­scribes as hav­ing “taken too long.” Some fear the move will hurt the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the port, with the ex­tra cost caus­ing ves­sels to by­pass the Fra­grant Har­bour for ports in the Pearl River Delta. To pre­vent this, agree Shaw, Loh and Tung, it is es­sen­tial for Hong Kong to work with Guang­dong au­thor­i­ties to en­force the change across the re­gion.

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