Hong Kong Policy Address looks to drive low carbon industries
- 12 October 2011
HONG KONG: Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, today announced the 2011-2012 Policy Address, outlining Hong Kong's new policy focus. Among the many economic and social issues, the Government will implement a number of climate-related policies, as it reiterates the proposal to reduce carbon intensity by 50-60% from 2005 levels by 2020.
Building on 2010's impressive work, the Policy Address outlines plans to execute many climate-focused projects. The HK$30 billion that the Government spent over on environmental projects, as well as the continued promotion of waste reduction and recycling and the legislation on energy efficiency of buildings, have brought new business opportunities for the recycling, green building and green engineering sectors in Hong Kong, and so will be extended.
To grow low carbon industries in Hong Kong, the Government will continue to capitalize the opening up of the Chinese market, as well as support the industry's role in environmental exhibitions and trade missions.
The Government will also continue to promote green transport, to reduce GHG emissions as well as roadside pollution. To curb nitrous oxide emissions, the Government will retrofit all Euro II and Euro III buses with catalytic converters, subject to trial results.
In addition, it will introduce remote sensing equipment and advanced emission tests to control emissions from petro and LPG vehicles, and set aside HK$150 million to provide a one-off subsidy for replacing catalytic converters in LPG taxis and light buses. The Government will ask all franchised bus companies to test zero-emission electric buses, and proposes to earmark HK$180 million for bus companies to purchase 36 electric buses for trial runs.
In the climate policies consultation document released in September 2010, the Government also proposed to increase nuclear power in the fuel mix from the current 23% to 50% by 2020. However, the Fukushima incident in March 2011 has since triggered safety concerns around nuclear energy. In this Policy Address, the government assured that the impact of the Fukushima incident on nuclear development will be taken into account, and will balance such factors as safety, reliability, environmental protection and affordability when deciding on Hong Kong’s future fuel mix for power generation.
In addition, the Government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Daya Bay Contingency Plan (the existing nuclear plant in Guangdong, China which supplies nuclear power to Hong Kong) and will conduct a large-scale inter-departmental exercise with public participation in early 2012 to ensure the effectiveness of the Plan.
Kalmond Ma, Head of Pearl River Delta Regional Program, The Climate Group says: “We welcome the climate-focused policies included in the latest Hong Kong Policy Address from Chief Executive Donald Tsang, and are expecting to see a comprehensive roadmap for Hong Kong to tackle climate change in a timely manner. The Climate Group looks forward to joining forces with various stakeholders to drive the Clean Revolution forward in the region.”
Read the Policy Address