Public Policy Bulletin (5th Issue - June 2023)

3 Effective environmental regulation requires coordination between jurisdictions because OGVs sail from port to port. Although Hong Kong reduced various uncertainties and eventually enacted the shipping emissions regulation, these uncertainties remained in mainlaind China. Based on Hong Kong’s experience, scientists conducted similar empirical studies focusing on shipping pollution in the GBA. In 2013, Civic Exchange published a review report that elaborated on shipping emissions quantities and the corresponding public health impacts in the GBA (Ng et al., 2013). In 2016, Civic Exchange developed a thorough emissions inventory covering most types of vessels traveling in the entire GBA (Ng et al., 2016). Hong Kong government officials also actively engaged with scientists as well as national environmental and transportation ministries in China to share the city’s experience and assist in policy formulation (Zhang et al. 2018). In the same year, three domestic emissions control areas (DECAs) limiting the surphur content of fuel to 0.5% in the GBA, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Bohai Rim were formalized. From Stage 1 through Stage 4, as uncertainties were increasingly reduced or eliminated, shipping emissions regulation transitioned gradually from a conceptual plan to a legal regulatory regime in Hong Kong. Eventually, the policy was developed into a national-level regulation. Table 1 presents a summary of the policy development process. Recommendations Scientific research is indispensable to reducing or eliminating substantive uncertainties Substantive uncertainties related to the sources, quantities, environmental impacts, and health impacts of shipping emissions, as well as the technical feasibility and benefits of shipping emissions control were critical obstacles to policy development in early stages. Facing substantive uncertainties, there was insufficient incentive for key stakeholders to take concrete action. Scientific research played an indispensable role in unravelling substantive uncertainties and provided the fundamental rationale for subsequent collaborative actions and policy formulation. Involvement by civil society actors and key stakeholders is essential to reducing or eliminating strategic and institutional uncertainties Even when scientific evidence supporting a policy issue was clear, relevant stakeholders may not have been aware of or understood the technical findings. Moreover, whether a policy would prove practical or gain sufficient political support has often been unclear. Civil society played a significant role in raising public awareness of the relevant policy issues. Interested actors could also organize dialogues to resolve disagreements and misunderstandings between scientists, the private sector, and government agencies. In addition, industry-led voluntary agreements, e.g., the FWC, could test the economic and political feasiblility of new regulations (Ng, 2018; Zhang et al., 2018). Escalating policy collaboration among stakeholders as uncertainties are reduced or eliminated In the process of formulating shipping emissions regulations, initial actions were undertaken predominately by scientists and civil society actors to settle substantive uncertainties. Next, the government and industry groups were motivated to exchange ideas and participate in the policymaking process to reduce strategic and institutional uncertainties. The government then formally submitted a policy proposal to the legislative council for discussion and amendment, Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Reducing substantive uncertainties: • Scientific evidence confirmed the detrimental impacts of shipping emissions on ambient air quality and public health in Hong Kong. • In response to extensive scientific evidence, HKEPD carried out comprehensive studies of shipping emissions. Reducing strategic and institutional uncertainties: • Civil society actors took an initial step to survey shipping emissions- control policies worldwide. Reducing substantive uncertainties: • Multiple studies indicated the detrimental impacts of shipping emissions on public health Reducing strategic uncertainties: • Civil society actors convened stakeholders to take collaborative action Reducing substantive, strategic, and institutional uncertainties: • The industry-led FWC exemplified the air-quality improvement effect as well as the economic and political feasibility of shipping emissions regulation in Hong Kong. Reducing substantive uncertainties: • A joint laboratory experiment revealed only slight differences between high- and low-sulphur diesel fuels with respect to fuel consumption, engine power, and engine durability. Reducing strategic and institutional uncertainties: • The government initiated the three-year Port Facilities and Light Dues Incentive Scheme to halve the port facility dues for OGVs that transited to low-sulphur fuel at berth. City-level policy enactment: • The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation was enacted in Hong Kong. Reducing substantive, strategic, and institutional uncertainties: • Based on Hong Kong's experience, similar scientific studies and policy collaborations were implemented in Mainland China. National-level policy formalization: • Because of the scientific evidence gathered and policy collaboration undertaken in the GBA, three domestic emissions control areas (DECAs) limiting the sulphur content of fuel to 0.5% in the GBA, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Bohai Rim were formalized. Key steps in the four stages of policy development regarding shipping emissions in Hong Kong and mainland China Table 1 Public Policy BULLETIN The Role Science Plays in Reducing Policy Uncertainties: Collaborative Governance for Shipping Emissions Control in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area