Four Greenpeace Climate Activists Arrested for Unfurling a Wanted Notice at Central Government Offices Accusing Donald Tsang Guilty for Ignoring Climate Change

Press release - 2009-06-22
Greenpeace condemns the Hong Kong government for arresting four Greenpeace activists for taking part in a non-violent protest on climate change today. The activists unfurled a 7-storey-tall banner hoping to catch “Climate Fugitive” Donald Tsang at the Central Government Offices West Wing. Chief Executive Mr. Tsang is criticized of constantly delaying to mitigate climate change by using an 18-month long consultant research as an excuse.

The activists unfurled a 7-storey-tall banner hoping to catch “Climate Fugitive” Donald Tsang at the Central Government Offices West Wing.

Greenpeace activists abseil from the rooftop of the Government Offices, and unfurl a 20 metre high x 7.5 metre wide banner with a portrait of Donald Tsang and saying "Climate Fugitive Wanted". Bright yellow stickers with the words "Wanted" and Donald's portrait are also distributed, accusing the Chief Executive of dereliction of duty and failing to launch any policy to combat climate change, thus costing Hong Kong and China massive economic loss.

Police officers set up a security perimeter which blocked part of the Queens' Road Central. Four activists are arrested after the action is finished. They are still in police custody. No charges have yet been brought.

Greenpeace Campaigner Prentice Koo condemns the government's reaction. " It is a pity that the Government spends a lot of manpower to deal with our non- violent protestors, instead of tackling climate change." Prentice continues. "The Chief Executive is stone-cold on climate change and refuses from the very beginning to set a reduction target on Hong Kong's greenhouse gas emissions; he tolerates the damage of climate change to worsen and is inert to the subsequent huge economic loss. Donald Tsang is definitely a culprit of climate change," he says.

Greenpeace has earlier published two reports on the impact of climate change. "The 'Climate Change Bill': Economic Costs of a Heavy Rainstorm in Hong Kong" calculated that a heavy rainstorm resulting from climate change cost the region at least HKD 570 million; the other report, "Climate Change and Poverty: a case study of China", also indicated that climate change is worsening poverty in China. Evidence clearly demonstrates that climate change is wreaking havoc to people in Hong Kong as well as China's poor.

Hong Kong being one of the richest cities in China, is indeed an "affront to the motherland" that Donald Tsang till now has not promised to table any comprehensive policy to combat climate change.

Three months ago, Greenpeace projected a message on the wall of Government House to urge the Chief Executive to confront climate change and lead a delegation to the Copenhagen Conference, however no reply is yet received from the Chief Executive till now. In view of the high probability that Mr. Tsang is going to be absent again in the United Nations' climate summit, Greenpeace launches a "Donald Tsang Wanted" campaign to encourage Hong Kong people to register online as "Climate Hero" and report Donald Tsang's offences against climate.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has already finished the second round of preparatory meetings on 12th June, and the Copenhagen Conference is only 6 months away. Greenpeace demands the Chief Executive to pledge delivering a climate change policy as soon as possible, which should include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% to 40% by 2020 from the 1990 levels, introducing energy tax on carbon dioxide emissions, reducing the price competitiveness of fossil fuel, and developing renewable energy with Guangdong to reach the target, i.e. renewable energy consumption as 15% of the total energy consumption.