We are pleased to see Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is making an earnest effort to tackle Hong Kong's air pollution with the appointment of former legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai as undersecretary for the environment.
Her appointment was confirmed yesterday and we hope she will be pushing Leung's administration to start thinking green in terms of air quality, waste management, and nature conservation.
She did not ask for the job -- she was approached by Leung and agreed to join as she believes he is serious about improving the environment as well as help influence public policy, which she has spent the past 12 years researching as head of her think tank called Civic Exchange.
"The one thing I have not done in my career is to be on the executive side, where I have a chance to set policy," she said. "This is something I'd like to do now. I think it is possible to do something within the CY Leung administration, together with the minister [Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing].
However Loh is not completely clean -- Civic Exchange received local and overseas funding for projects, including HK$740,000 from CLP Power on a nuclear project last year, as well as HK$74,000 from Exxon-Mobill and Koala Resources on a conservation policy project started in 2010.
While some environmental groups are skeptical, others are trying to be open-minded.
We really need someone actively advocating our interests in having Hong Kong reduce its air pollution, and manage its waste better with a recycling system that works. We should also educate the public about the perils of wasting water and paper because resources are fast disappearing.
So it'll be interesting to see how much of an influence Loh will have in public policy and hopefully this time she will make a lasting impact for future generations.