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香港清洁能源计划带来意外污染

Hong Kong Finds Switch to Cleaner Fuels Has Flaws
香港清洁能源计划带来意外污染

Municipal governments all over the world, particularly in developing countries with rapidly growing fleets of cars and choking air pollution, have been rushing over the last few years to force taxis and buses to switch to burning liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, frequently offering subsidies for them to do so.

全世界的城市政府,尤其是在汽车保有量迅速增长、空气污染令人难以忍受的发展中国家,过去几年都在争先恐后地强制要求出租车和巴士改用液化天然气或液化石油气,往往还为此提供补贴。

But one of the early leaders of the trend, Hong Kong, said on Friday that the city’s shift over the last decade to almost complete dependence on LPG for light commercial vehicles had produced unintended consequences. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, one of the most important contributors to smog, surged by a fifth in Hong Kong’s air from 2008 to 2012, and a team of local and international scientists have traced the cause to LPG-fueled vehicles, Hong Kong environmental regulators said at a press conference.

但是,早期共同引领了这一趋势的香港上周五表示,过去10年,香港的轻型商用车已经几乎全部改用了液化石油气,但这种做法引发了一些意外后果。2008年到2012年,香港空气中的二氧化氮浓度上升了五分之一,而该气体是烟雾最重要的来源之一。香港负责环境监管的机构在新闻发布会上说,当地研究者和国外科学家组成的团队发现,燃烧液化石油气的车辆导致了上述变化。

The problem lies in the taxis’ and minibuses’ catalytic converters, said Christine Loh, the undersecretary for the environment. Unless replaced every 18 months for cars and light buses that are driven nearly around the clock, the catalytic converters become fouled and the vehicles begin emitting extremely high levels of pollution.

香港环境局副局长陆恭蕙(Christine Loh)称,问题出在出租车和小巴的催化转化器身上。对于几乎全天运营的轿车和小巴来说,除非每18个月更换一次催化转化器,否则它就会失灵,从而让车辆开始排放浓度极高的污染物。

“The LPG vehicles, which are supposed to be cleaner, are spewing out very high levels of nitrogen,” she said. Although LNG has not been deployed on a large scale in Hong Kong, it would pose the same problems, she added.

她说,“使用液化石油气的车辆本来应该更加清洁,现在却释放出非常高浓度的氮。”她还称,尽管香港没有大规模使用液化天然气,它也会产生同样的问题。

As a result, the Hong Kong government in the coming months will pay for the free replacement of catalytic converters on the city’s entire privately owned fleet of roughly 18,000 taxis and several thousand minibuses, Ms. Loh said. Pang Sik-wing, the city’s principal environmental protection officer for air sciences, said that the replacement effort would cost about 10,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $1,290 per vehicle.

因此,陆恭蕙称,未来几个月,香港政府将出资为私人拥有的大约1.8万辆出租车和几千辆小巴更换催化转化器。香港政府负责大气科学的首席环境保护主任彭锡荣(Pang Sik-wing)表示,更换行动将耗资每车1万港元左右,约合人民币7900元。

After the first free replacement, taxi and minibus owners will be responsible for replacing catalytic converters every year and a half at their own expense. Hong Kong will deploy five mobile sensor systems next year to measure the pollution from passing vehicles and send automatic notices to the registered owners of any vehicle surpassing emissions standards, requiring them to take in their vehicles for repairs or risk losing their vehicle licenses.<-->纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com<-->

在首次免费更换之后,出租车和小巴的车主必须每一年半自费更换一次催化转化器。香港将于明年设置五套移动感应系统,测量过往车辆的污染排放水平,并向其中超出排放标准的注册车主自动发送通知,要求维修车辆,否则就可能吊销运营牌照。

“We will strictly enforce the emissions standard,” Mr. Pang said as a news conference on Friday morning with Ms. Loh.

周五上午,与陆恭蕙共同出席新闻发布会的彭锡荣说,“我们将严格执行排放标准。”

The initiative comes as large areas of northeastern China struggled a week ago with smog so thick that schools closed and motorists had to slow down to drive through the murky air. While that smog has been linked overwhelmingly to coal consumption, vehicles have also played a role, particularly diesel-burning heavy trucks.

就在港府宣布上述行动的同时,中国东北的大片区域一周前遭遇了严重的雾霾天气,导致学校停课,机动车司机也不得不在一片朦胧中缓慢行驶。尽管这种雾霾被认为主要由烧煤造成,但汽车尾气也起到了一定作用,尤其是燃烧柴油的重型卡车。

Cities across China have been seeking to mitigate the problem by rapidly converting taxi fleets to LPG or LNG — taxis sometimes have to wait as long as an hour to refuel because service stations with the necessary fuels have not been built fast enough. Ms. Loh said that the Hong Kong government has alerted Beijing to the catalytic converter maintenance difficulties encountered here, and officials are working to come up with solutions there.

为了努力缓解这一问题,中国的各大城市正在让出租车迅速改用液化石油气或液化天然气。由于提供所需燃料的服务站建设得不够快,出租车有时会为了加气等上一个小时。陆恭蕙称,香港政府已经提醒北京注意这里遇到的催化转化器维护问题,北京的官员们也正在努力拿出解决方案。

Wong Pokeung, the chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi Owners Association, said in a separate telephone interview that the city’s taxi owners welcomed the free catalytic converters but would have replaced the emissions control equipment even without government assistance. Cars with up-to-date emissions equipment produce less black smoke, have more power and achieve better fuel efficiency, he said.

香港的士商会有限公司主席黄保强(Wong Pokeung)在接受单独的电话采访时称,香港的士车主欢迎免费更换的催化转化器,不过,即使没有政府的协助,也会自行更换这种排放控制设备。他还说,拥有先进排放设备的车辆产生的黑烟更少、动力更强,燃油效率也更高。

After the Hong Kong government offered subsidies of as much as 40,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $5,160, a decade ago for conversions to LPG, all but one of Hong Kong’s 18,138 taxis now burns LPG, Mr. Wong said. The owner of a single taxi has insisted on using diesel but has kept his reasons for doing so to himself, Mr. Wong added.

黄保强称,港府10年前为每辆改用液化石油气的车提供至多4万港元的补贴之后,香港目前的18138辆的士中,除去一辆之外都使用的是这种燃料。他还说,唯一例外的的士车主坚持使用柴油,但不愿透露理由。

The city’s minibuses have also converted to LPG, for which local taxes per gallon are much cheaper than for other fuels.

香港的小巴也已改用液化石油气。相较其他燃料,同样容量的液化石油气的税费要低得多。

Larger buses in Hong Kong continue to use diesel, including the picturesque double-decker buses that have been a staple of mass transit here since before Britain returned the territory to China in 1997. Franchised bus operators have long resisted switching, arguing that only diesel engines can push buses up Hong Kong’s steep hills while still providing enough power for the robust air conditioning systems needed to ward off the sweltering heat during late spring, summer and early autumn.

香港较大的巴士仍在使用柴油,包括别具一格的双层巴士。从1997年英国将香港归还中国之前一直到现在,双层巴士一直是基本的大众交通工具。专营巴士服务商一直拒绝更换燃料,理由是只有柴油发动机才能够驱动双层巴士爬上香港陡峭的山坡,同时为强大的空调系统提供足够的能源。香港的巴士在春末、夏季和初秋都需要空调来抵挡炎热。

The Hong Kong government is preparing to submit a bill to the legislature that would set deadlines for the retirement of all older diesel-powered vehicles that do not meet modern emissions standards and whose compliance has been grandfathered until now, Ms. Loh said. The bill will set “death dates for each of these categories – this is not a voluntary scheme, this is a mandatory scheme.”

陆恭蕙表示,香港政府正准备向立法会提交一项议案,为所有不满足现代排放标准的老旧柴油动力车设定淘汰期限。截至目前,这些车辆一直免受监管。该法案将会为隶属每一种类的柴油车设定“停驶期限——这不是自愿的计划,而是一个强制性的计划”。

Air pollution tends to be less severe in Hong Kong than in northern Chinese cities, but still much worse than in the United States or in the European Union. Much of the pollution in Hong Kong is generated by factories just across the border in mainland China, as the city’s 7 million people are part of an “air shed” of more than 50 million people covering a sizable area of the Pearl River delta, Ms. Loh said.

香港的空气污染一般没有中国北方城市那么严重,但仍然远远超过了美国和欧盟的水平。陆恭蕙说,香港的许多污染来自中国内地的工厂。广阔的珠三角地区有超过5000万人口共享一个“空气域”,而香港的700万人口属于其中的一部分。

Referring to air quality standards set by the World Health Organization in Geneva, she added that, “Hong Kong could shut off tomorrow, we would still not meet WHO standards because there are emissions from our neighborhood.”

提到总部位于日内瓦的世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)设定的空气质量标准时,陆恭蕙说,“即使香港明天可以停止一切活动,我们仍然无法达到世卫的标准,因为还有我们的邻居在排放。”

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