Joint Groups Submit Policy Recommendations to CE on Climate Change
[Release on 16 October 2023] The recent black rain event underscores the immediate need for significant and sustained carbon emission reductions and climate resilience efforts in Hong Kong. This is vital to protect Hong Kong citizens and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
Public policy think tank Civic Exchange, along with green groups Greenpeace and The Nature Conservancy Hong Kong Foundation Limited (TNC), have jointly initiated a policy address recommendation to Chief Executive John Lee, urging urgent climate action.
The letter has been co-signed by 14 other organisations, including 350HK, ADM Capital Foundation, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Bloom HK, Clean Air Network, Green Power, Greeners Action, Hong Kong 2050 is Now, The Green Earth, The Harbour School, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong, World New Economy Council, and WWF-Hong Kong.
We urge the government to consider the following bold and comprehensive recommendations across four key areas to drive further sustainable development in Hong Kong:
- Green and Sustainable Finance
- Mitigation (Power, Building, Transport and Mobility, Waste, and Nature-based Solutions)
- Adaptation and Resilience
- Climate Governance
Hong Kong has the potential to become a leading regional green finance hub, fostering an environment that facilitates collaboration between technical experts and finance professionals. Ms. Wing Tsang, Researcher of Civic Exchange, emphasised, "The government must set near-term emission targets to actualise pathways to carbon neutrality by 2050 in various sectors. The government should pursue green finance and the publicly available Energy End-use Data as lower-hanging fruits to decarbonise. This will provide a clear direction for decarbonisation in various sectors, enabling swift action and stimulating growth in low-carbon businesses and job opportunities."
The Climate Action Plan 2050 represents a significant milestone towards achieving absolute carbon emission reductions and will undergo review before 2026. This presents a crucial opportunity for the government to strengthen governance measures, ensuring transparency regarding the cumulative impact of policy actions required to meet reduction targets. Mr. Tom Ng, Campaigner from Greenpeace said, "The government must urgently establish a robust climate governance framework to drive decisive climate action. This framework should have legally binding emission targets, strict reporting mechanisms, and clear governmental duties. Moreover, Hong Kong's overlooked resilience is alarming. A strong adaptation plan is vital to protect Hongkongers from climate impacts."
In addition to transitioning away from fossil fuels, preserving natural ecosystems through nature-based solutions has proven to be an effective method for mitigating climate change and safeguarding the city from extreme climate events. Mrs. Marine Thomas, Senior Conservation Program Manager of TNC, stated, "The government must include Hong Kong's natural capital in its climate strategies, an area currently overlooked by policy makers. By integrating nature-based solutions into Planning Standards and Guidelines. Hong Kong can enhance carbon sequestration potential, increase coastal protection, and improve overall climate resilience. Additionally, the government should invest in terrestrial and marine restoration programs, not only for the added climate resilience benefits this provides, but also to enhance biodiversity, aligning with both international and national conservation targets."
Full submission can be found here: https://act.gp/3RW9xtF
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