A Low Carbon Vision for Hong Kong

Discussion Paper
Reading time: 22 minutes
29 July 2010

The Climate Group in China has produced a discussion paper which gives a vision of what carbon reduction targets Hong Kong could achieve. The aim is to initiate discussions on the ways and means to achieve the vision, as well as exploring Hong Kong's role in facilitating China's low carbon development.

The discussion paper is based on three separate but complementary parts:

  • an analysis of stakeholders' views on how Hong Kong should meet the climate change challenge;
  • an overview of emissions targets and how far Hong Kong is from these targets;
  • and a projection of the energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Hong Kong up to 2030 under the Business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and several low carbon scenarios, conducted by the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China, using a computer model.

Currently there is not a widespread discussion on climate change issues in Hong Kong, and there seems to be a lack of consensus on the appropriate target that Hong Kong should commit to in terms of climate change mitigation. So to initiate discussions on the ways and means to achieve emissions reductions, and on how Hong Kong can take a leading role, The Climate Group is proposing a low carbon vision for Hong Kong as outlined below:

  • Hong Kong has a key role in the economy of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), which comprises Hong Kong, the nine municipalities of the Guangdong Province in mainland China and Macao. Hong Kong can contribute to low carbon development in the region through its strength in financing and innovation.
  • As a well-developed city with mature infrastructure, Hong Kong can add value to a low carbon development of other Chinese cities.
  • In the short run, Hong Kong can reduce its emissions from power generation by changing its fuel mix and phasing out the use of coal, and instead increasing the use of cleaner fuel, such as natural gas and nuclear.
  • Hong Kong should aim for a more ambitious legislation on the Building Energy Codes, to enhance the overall energy efficiency standards within the building sector.
  • Hong Kong should introduce policies to encourage the application of advanced technologies and elimination of inefficient equipment.
  • The government and civil society should reinforce public education to raise the awareness on 'low carbon society'.
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