The Hai Phong City People’s Committee aims to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by vehicles to 8.6 percent by 2020.

City authorities have kicked off an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cooperation with leading Japanese environmental experts, the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge reported.

The online newspaper quoted as a report showing that greenhouse gas emissions from transport in the city totalled 4,109,889 tonnes of CO2, accounting for 21.2 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Hai Phong, which has an airport, seaport, and the 5A and 10 highways, has to deal with hundreds of cars and millions of motorbikes. Vehicles discharge huge volumes of fumes and toxic gases of different kinds, such as CO, CO2, NO2, SO2, black smoke and lead.

The city also has a high dust concentration level, measured at some transport intersections in Hai Phong at 3-5 times higher than permitted levels.

The CO and NO2 concentrations are 1.2-1.5 times higher than permitted levels. The indexes are especially high at the Nguyen Binh Khiem and Dinh Vu T-junctions.

The project to encourage Hai Phong’s residents to travel on buses did not bring the desired effects in the last few years. Only one percent of the city residents use public means of transport, largely because of the inconvenience.

Meanwhile, buses put into use have been deteriorating rapidly, especially ones imported from China.

The city’s agencies have drawn up a plan on developing eco-friendly buses.
They plan to put 220 eco-friendly buses into operation by 2020. City authorities hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 16,600 tons of CO2 per annum.
Nguyen Quang Hieu from the Hai Phong City Transport Department emphasised that developing public means of transport is a strategic task for the agency in 2012-2020.

“We will prioritise the products with modern technologies which are safe and environmentally friendly in an effort to minimize air pollution,” he said.

Under the programme on developing eco-friendly buses, public means of transport would satisfy 5 percent of travel demand of city residents in the 2012-2016 period, while the figure will be 10 percent in the 2016-2020 period.

In the immediate time, Hai Phong will put six electrically-powered buses into use in 2015, and 220 buses by 2020.

The plan on improving the management and operation of the city’s bus system would be implemented under cooperation with Japanese Nishi Nihon.

It is estimated that the city will be able to save 2.7 million yen a year once it completes the replacement of petrol-run buses into EV buses.-VNA