Veronica Booth, Civic Exchange

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Veronica Booth is Senior Project Manager at Hong Kong-based public policy thinktank Civic Exchange. She has been the principal investigator and stakeholder convenor for the "Green Harbours Community" since it was formed in 2008.

Stories from Veronica Booth, Civic Exchange

Spatial distribution of SO2 from ships around Hong Kong, 2008
November 07, 2013
Tackling air pollution must be a multi-pronged attack. Regulators and industry can reduce certain pollutants by using cleaner fuel, like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department is in the throes of tightening regulation on locally available fuel for vessels to do just this. This diesel fuel will be mostly used for so called “local craft” – like tug boats, ferries and barges – and could be used by the larger, ocean-going vessels like container ships while at berth, if regulation demands it.
Shipping in HK
June 07, 2013
It’s not been a particularly good few weeks for those of us interested in protecting public health by reducing air pollution generated from shipping. In mid-May, the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee decided to consider delaying the next round of engine standards for vessels sailing through certain Emission Control Areas (ECAs) from 2016 to 2021. In the designated ECAs in Northern Europe and North America, sulphur dioxide (SO2), which comes from dirty fuel, is the main pollutant targeted for reduction.
Kai Tak Cruise
February 05, 2013
It’s been a busy and productive few weeks for both the shipping industry and the Hong Kong government. In his first policy address, Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung announced plans to introduce legislation for at-berth fuel switching during the next legislative session, continue discussions with Guangdong officials on extending fuel switching to other places in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), and for shoreside power at the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, scheduled to open in June.  
Spatial distribution of SO2 from ships around Hong Kong, 2008
October 03, 2012
Finally, some data. A couple of weeks ago Civic Exchange and two Hong Kong universities released a report detailing the extent of emissions from ships in the Pearl River Delta region, and their public health impact. It’s a groundbreaking study. Using 2008 data, researchers from HKUST did a ship emissions inventory of vessels activity across the PRD. They then calculated the dispersion of the pollutants, which showed that Shenzhen and Hong Kong have the most ship emissions, ahead of other coastal PRD regions such as Zhongshan and Dongguan, and outer PRD regions, like Foshan and Huizhou.
Hong Kong container port at night
June 05, 2012
It is now widely accepted around the world that shipping emissions need to be tightly regulated in order to protect public health. Various types of port-related equipment and activities, such as cargo handling machinery and trucking goods to and from ports, also generate pollution. Research shows that, in Hong Kong, the combined emissions from ships and port activity are a significant source of pollution that directly affects some 3.8 million people. The city’s shipping and port management stakeholders have been most active in working with local authorities to define a path towards tighter regulation, and have made progress in reducing emissions.
Green shipping in the Pear River Delta
April 19, 2012
Good news – momentum is building to reduce ship emissions in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. Last month, Shenzhen Municipal Human Settlements and Environment Commission informally stated that reducing emissions from ship and port activities will be a primary area of focus this year
Kwai Chung Container Terminal
January 25, 2012
The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD) recently presented proposals to reduce emissions from vessels to improve air quality in Hong Kong at an Environmental Affairs Panel meeting in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in December 2011. This is a positive step towards regulation in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region more generally.
Kwai Chung Container Port at night
November 27, 2011
A groundbreaking marine emissions inventory of vessel traffic in Hong Kong, commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department, and presented at a recent conference, helps us to understand the extent of air pollution from vessels in this city. This is one of the first inventories of its kind in Asia, with similar work being done by government bodies in Shanghai and Taiwan. The Hong Kong study will likely raise awareness about the impact that these emissions can have in port cities.
Ocean-going vessel
September 29, 2011
October marks a year since since the launch of the Fair Winds Charter, a volunary shceme for for ocean-going vessels to swicth to cleaner fuel when calling into Hong Kong. Charter signatories and other stakeholders have been urges governments in Pearl River Delta to madate this across the region but so far, no regulation has been announced by any of the PRD governments.
Smokey ship's funnel
August 04, 2011
There's a vast range of environmental issues that face cargo owners as they clean up their logistics process. Many of these companies have been focusing on reducing carbon emissions to meet regulation and to respond to growing consumer demands for lower carbon products.
Fair Winds Charter for Hong Kong
June 08, 2011
On January 1 2011, 18 shipping companies voluntarily, and without a subsidy, began using cleaner fuel while at berth in Hong Kong. Shipping companies estimate that this switch costs from USD500,000-2 million annually. What is behind this commitment?