New Hong Kong budget shows continuation of clear climate fiscal measures
- 02 February 2012
HONG KONG: John Tsang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, today announced the 2012-2013 Budget, outlining Hong Kong's public expenditure and the Government’s upcoming fiscal measures. Among the many economic and social issues, the Government has continued to allocate substantial budget to combat climate change.
The current Government has spent over HK$30 billion on low carbon facilities and funded projects, which has created opportunities for environmental industries and driven the demand for related skills, talent and services.
The allocated budget includes continuing support for the following initiatives:
- The Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, which specifies the energy efficiency design standards for four types of building services installations and requires certain buildings to conduct energy audits, will be fully implemented in September 2012. This will bring more business opportunities for related professional services.
- The Government will also continue to capitalize on Hong Kong’s advantages to open up business opportunities in the mainland for low carbon industries, help build local environmental brands, and facilitate collaboration with local and overseas enterprises.
- In terms of green transport measures, the Government has provided grants and tax concessions to encourage early replacement of old diesel commercial vehicles and purchase of more low carbon vehicles.
- HK$300 million is allocated for the Pilot Green Transport Fund, which will subsidize trials on electric non-franchised buses and electric goods vehicles, to be commenced within 2012.
- The Government has provided HK$180 million to subsidize trials of hybrid buses and fully electric buses by the franchised bus companies, with the ultimate policy objective of full-scale use of zero-emission buses across the territory. Currently there are over 240 electric vehicles on local roads, more than double that of last year; it is estimated that there will be about 1,000 charging points in Hong Kong by mid-2012.
- On improving waste management, following the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags put in place since 2009, preparatory work is now underway for the scheme's extension and the introduction of a Producer Responsibility Scheme for waste electrical and electronic equipment. In addition, the Government is consulting the public on the proposal for charging municipal solid waste.
Kalmond Ma, Head of Pearl River Delta Regional Program, The Climate Group, says: “We welcome the climate-focused fiscal measures included in the latest Budget from Financial Secretary John Tsang, and encourage the Government to take a comprehensive approach in promoting green industries and deployment of low carbon technologies, which would provide synergy in terms of economic growth and reduced emissions. Hong Kong, as a well developed economy, can take a more proactive role in addressing climate change issues. It can become a model for other Chinese cities by developing and marketing green technology solutions, and channeling finance to the investment and deployment of these solutions.”
Read the Budget