Environmental politics in Hong Kong : dynamic of government-business relations in air quality management

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Environmental politics in Hong Kong : dynamic of government-business relations in air quality management

 

Author: Lee, Heung-yeung
Title: Environmental politics in Hong Kong : dynamic of government-business relations in air quality management
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Environmental policy -- China -- Hong Kong
Air quality management -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Dept. of Management and Marketing
Pages: 230 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1749072
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1609
Abstract: It was well recognized that Hong Kong government had adopted a laissez-faire governing orientation, under which their Air Quality Management (AQM) or clean air regulations had stressed government-business negotiations rather than prosecutions. After the 1980s, however, substantial changes in the government's strategies began to be noticed. In particular, the environmental laws began to evolve rapidly. As the government-business relations (GBR) has changed, the government's strategies no longer serve business interests as often as before and business interests may not be able to dominate the government's agenda on environmental governance. In this dissertation, case studies are used to show the changing contour of Hong Kong's environmental politics, along with the expansion of the environmental bureau, the proliferation of NGOs, the rise in public awareness, the divergence of business views on environmental protection, and the change in the government's attitude. The GBR pattern has been determined in different periods and major polluting sectors, based on the following five distinguishable patterns according to overseas experiences: (1) 'Business-Dominates-Government', (2)'Government-Cooperates with-Business', (3) 'Government-Confronts-Business', (4) 'Business- Accommodates-Government', and (5) 'Government-Commands-Business'. It is found that the GBR has changed from cooperation to accommodation in the manufacturing industry and to confrontation in the public transport industry, but that it is constantly one of cooperation in the private goods transport industry and in the power industry. A relationship of cooperation between government and business can also be detected in the policy outcome on the lack of sustainable road plans and of a renewable energy policy. The proliferation of NGOs, the rise in public awareness, the divergence of business views on environmental protection, and the emergence of a consensus among politicians have appeared as major momentums in the GBR dynamics and the environmental movement. However, the public opinions are often undermined under black box politics for the limited growth of Hong Kong's democracy. It seems that on industrial pollution issues the GBR dynamics as well as the environmental regulations are mainly driven by how far is the prominence of an industry to the economy rather than how polluting is an industry to the society.

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