Regulate emission from power plants and rescue Hong Kong from becoming hot‘port’

Press release - 2006-09-11
Greenpeace under the help of “Public Opinion Programme” at the University of Hong Kong” surveyed on Hong Kong people’s opinion towards global warming in late August. Over 74.8% of the interviewees agreed that the government should find ways to tackle global warming as soon as possible. (See Attachment 1). About 69% of the interviewees expressed concerns to global warming and its impacts on Hong Kong, which shows significant increase when compared to around 53% form a similar survey last year.

Campaigners of Greenpeace together with Legislator Audrey Eu, marched from the Statue Square to Government headquarter with an "overheated" huge thermometer, implying the imminence of climate change and Hong Kong citizens' inevitable state of living in an overheated hot 'port'. Hong Kong people urge the Chief Executive to respond immediately to public concern for climate change in his Policy Address to be released in October by regulating the emission of carbon dioxide from the two local electricity companies.

The emission of carbon dioxide in Hong Kong has been rising gradually since 1999, and has exceeded the level of 1990 ( See attachment 2). Gloria Chang, Campaigner of Greenpeace, said, "The government does not have any objectives or plans to reduce the emission of warming gas from the power plants. It should immediately stop appeasing the two electricity companies, who are responsible for 60 percents of carbon dioxide emission in Hong Kong."

Legislator Audrey Eu also echoes the urge, "Environmental conservation should not be manipulated to serve politics. The government should react to the fervent concern of citizens to climate change. It should fulfill the role as a world class developed city and to formulate measures and objectives to reduce emission of warming gas which leads to global warming. "

Greenpeace will launch an online appeal to the government and seek the authority to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide from power plants now until November. "We expect to collect around 3000 votes," said Chang.

Under EPD's Air Pollution Ordinance for power plants, an upper limit is exerted to regulate the emission of air pollutants from the power plants. Yet no control of emission of greenhouse gas causing global warming, such as carbon dioxide is put in the Ordinance at the moment.

The Hong Kong Observatory has already issued 145 hours of Hot Weather Warning so far this year, which exceeds the 140 hours in the same period last year. The Observatory predicts that the average temperature in Hong Kong will increase to 26.5 degrees Celsius in the last decade of this century. The number of cold days in all winters will decrease from 21 days to less than 1. The probability of having no cold day in winter may reach 80 percents. The trend is in line with the global warming phenomenon.

Carbon dioxide, largely coming from power plants fuelled from coal, is the main source to global warming and abnormal climate. It causes extreme climate change, such as drought, flooding, hurricane, typhoon, rise in water level and the like, which tends to happen more frequently and intensely. These phenomena will also intensify the spread of diseases and aggravate destructions to humans and the global environment ( See attachment 3).

Appendix 1: The conclusion of the Survey result

Appendix 2: The trend of warming gas emission in Hong Kong

Appendix 3: Event lists of climatic change in 2006