Greenpeace Survey reveals business demand for Government leadership against global warming

Press release - 2007-11-06
A Greenpeace survey indicates concern from both local and overseas chambers of commerce that natural disasters triggered by global warming would be detrimental to investment in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. Almost all respondents agree that the SAR Administration should take the lead against global warming. Greenpeace urges the SAR Administration for greenhouse gas emissions targets as well as a comprehensive strategy to tackle the warming crisis.

A Greenpeace survey indicates that almost all local and overseas chambers of commerce interviewed agree that the HKSAR Administration should take the lead against global warming. The photo shows Wolfgang Ehmann, Executive Director of German Industry and Commerce Hong Kong and Vice Chairwoman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Eva Iding joining Greenpeace's survey release.

Thirteen local and overseas chambers of commerce answered a Greenpeace questionnaire in October, including the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong), the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, on business sector's view towards global warming. All respondents, representing over 9,000 enterprises in Hong Kong, agree that businesses in Hong Kong should concern the crisis as climate change impacts (e.g. extreme weathers, sea level rise) may threaten business operation and production facilities in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.

12 respondents said government leadership is crucial in resolving the warming problem. 6 out of all said the government is not doing sufficient in combating climate change. Most believe the SAR Administration should assess the economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change to Hong Kong and establish thorough policy and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Most chambers of commerce gave positive response to taking actions against climate change. 10 of them said the Hong Kong business sector should be responsible for helping to alleviate the problem by promoting environmentally-friendly products, improving energy efficiency and educating customers through awareness campaign. A number of them indicated educational programs were held to equip members with relevant knowledge of the issue.

"The survey reveals concerns of the business sector to the warming crisis and agrees that the SAR Administration should lead the battle", said Frances Yeung, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner. "Donald Tsang, the Chief Executive, should never pursue an 'ostrich' policy but to lead Hong Kong to fight global warming."

Wolfgang Ehmann, Executive Director of German Industry and Commerce Hong Kong, said the Hong Kong government must legislate in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions and voluntary measures alone were not sufficient enough.

Vice Chairwoman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Eva Iding echoed that government leadership was necessary in fighting climate change. She also advised that businesses should pay attention to risk management as a result of climate change.

Donald Tsang proposed only 3 measures in his policy address to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are too trivial to make an impact and reflects his lack of sincerity to deal with the problem. Greenpeace urges the SAR Administration together with the Guangdong provincial government, to assess impacts of global warming to economies of Hong Kong and the PRD region. The government should also formulate mitigation measures accordingly to answer worries of the business sector. What's more important, the government should set emissions reduction targets, and to devise a comprehensive climate strategy. It is also necessary for the administration to regulate emissions from the power plants, the largest contributor of CO2 pollution.

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