Policy experts gather in Hong Kong for City Carbon Portal

9 April 2014

Hong Kong: The second City Carbon Portal conference which focused on policy and technology integration, was hosted by The Climate Group in Hong Kong on April 3rd.

The conference was the second in a series of events which provide a forum for discussion on the future of city carbon markets, drawing on both national and international best practice.

The City Carbon Portal series is concerned with four main areas:

  • Designing and operating effective city carbon markets in different local contexts.
  • The actual impact of low-carbon initiatives on the end-use efficiency of infrastructure (especially buildings).
  • How to leverage low-carbon markets to maximize investment into green growth.
  • How to replicate, scale up, and potentially link up successful low-carbon market models. 

Last week’s conference was addressed by over 30 speakers from a variety of different backgrounds including both government representatives and corporate leaders. In addition to key note speeches, a number of workshops with follow up Q and As featured on the final agenda.

The Under Secretary of Hong Kong’s Environment Bureau, Ms. Christine Loh used her keynote speech to detail how rapid progress in China’s policy landscape is providing new opportunities for Hong Kong to manage its energy and emissions by getting involved in regional carbon markets, but cautioned on the need for local capacity building before moving ahead.

Dr. Jiang Kejun of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) highlighted how the synergy of recent national mandates to tackle China’s serious air pollution may accelerate previous CO2 reduction targets, allowing GHG emissions to peak before 2020.

Workshops such as “Getting low-carbon policies into city planning” which was led by Dr. Stanley Yip, Director of Planning and Development at ARUP, provided strong insight into the daunting scale of China’s low-carbon transformation and how best to collaborate with city officials on embedding low-carbon into city zoning and codes.

A distinctive feature of the carbon abatement meeting was the focus on case studies and the lessons which can be learnt from a comparative analysis of carbon markets.

Shenzhen, China’s first city carbon exchange was discussed in depth and it was recognized that upward trending prices indicate a stable market which can drive long term efficiency investments.  An update on Tokyo’s cap-and-trade program was also presented and delegates commended the city on maintaining a 22% GHG reduction in both 2012 and 2013 compared with 2010 levels.

“We are excited to be helping cities identify effective green growth incentives and accelerate their low-carbon trajectories by sharing and learning from others” said Eric Walker, The Climate Group’s Deputy Director of Integrated Solutions in Greater China.

To see the photo set from the event, please click here

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By Alana Ryan

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