Embrace beauty of seasonal change

Government should regulate greenhouse gas emission from electric plants

Press release - 2006-11-15
Greenpeace members greet Dr. Sarah Liao, Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works, with peach blossom and Chinese New Year couplets today, implying that the climate and order of four seasons will be disrupted if global warming continues. It is a shame that the SAR government is never a hardliner in addressing greenhouse gas emission from electric plants, which is the main culprit of climate disruption but without taking suitable accountability. Greenpeace urges the government to shoulder greater responsibility in stopping climate change and take decisive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emission from electric plants.

Lawmakers followed up Chief Executive Donald Tsang's concern about global warming expressed in his recent Policy Speech during the Legislative Council meeting today, as well as the progress of implementing the "Kyoto Protocol" by the SAR government. Before the meeting, two Greenpeace members in colorful Chinese costumes presented a New Year couplet saying "Delay Emission Reduction from Electric Plants, Bring Forward Chinese New Year to October", as an early Chinese New Year greeting and reminder to Dr. Liao that climate change is already disrupting the seasonal order. Greenpeace campaigner Frances Yeung also offered Liao a 4-foot tall peach blossom.

Yeung said, "All species reply on one another for survival. However, disruption to rhythm of the nature by global warming not only disorders the annual seasonal change, but also kills those species which fail to adapt to climate change."

The Hong Kong Observatory recorded the second hottest October in Hong Kong in the latest century. There is also media report on worries of local farmers that the persistent warm weather might bring forward the blooming of peach blossoms well before the Chinese New Year.

In fact, the climate in Hong Kong is becoming warmer. Average temperature rose by 1.5 degree Celsius in the last decade compared to that in the late 19th Century. The number of cold days in which temperature is below 12 degrees also reduces from 28 days per year in the 1950s to 13 days in the last ten years. Academics also point out that the number of days during which there is frosting on mountains in Hong Kong also drops, forcing plants which failed to adapt to the warming weather migrate to areas of higher latitude. He worries that if the temperature keeps on rising, some plants may become extinct in the territory.

Fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal emit a lot of carbon dioxide when burning, which are the main cause for global warming. In Hong Kong, electric plants emit 70% of the carbon dioxide and are the main sources of greenhouse gases. Emission of carbon dioxide in Hong Kong skyrocketed since the late 1990s and emission in 2004 increased by 10% on top of the 1990 level.

"No delay can be afforded in addressing the crisis of global warming. The government should pay more effort in protecting our environment. Emission of greenhouse gas from electric plants, which are the largest destructor to our environment, should immediately be reduced and regulated."

Notes:

“Government’s reply to Legislator’s enquiries on the topic of climate change” in News Announcement of Government Information Service
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200611/15c.htm

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