In 2019, the government asked the Sustainable Development Council to host a public engagement to help set Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation strategy. One of HK 2050 is Now’s first deliverables was a submission to the consultation.
An objective of HK 2050 is Now participation was to help the HK government raise its climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement as well as last year’s IPCC Global Warming of 1.5°C report.
In the document, we suggested Hong Kong should decarbonise faster than the global average since we are an advanced city with little activity in the hardest to decarbonise sectors: Industry, agriculture and domestic aviation.
Rooted in research, we argued that strong action to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change is needed and will have a major impact on Hong Kong’s economy.
Based on data from the Hong Kong EPD, 66% of Hong Kong’s scope 1 emissions in 2016 were from energy industries, 18% from transportation and 6% from waste treatment. Energy, building efficiency and mobility were key areas to tackle.
Among the HK 2050 is Now recommendations:
- Reduce energy consumed and the carbon intensity of electricity
- Promote renewables in Hong Kong to meet at least 3-4% of energy demand
- Engage in negotiations for Hong Kong to import renewables from Mainland China
- Replace distributed gas with low-carbon electricity or hydrogen plus inert gas mixture.
- Reduce energy consumed in buildings by tightening building energy codes, ratings and standards as well as audits
- Consider a shift to electric vehicles, including taxies and minibuses
- Disincentivise car ownership and use Electronic Road Pricing to reduce congestion
To achieve the submission paper, HK 2050 is Now partner, World Resources Institute, supported by Civic Exchange, mobilised its technical team, well-versed in climate action planning to look beyond the Hong Kong Climate Action Plan 2030+.
An early version of an Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) Model developed over several months helped to indicate the action and policies that could be implemented by the government to maneuver Hong Kong towards a carbon neutral city.
Civic Exchange and WRI hosted seven roundtable discussions in sectors such as electricity generation, distributed gas, lifestyle, mobility, building efficiency among others. Also feeding into the submission were meetings with HK EPD, ENB and EMSD.
Finally, the HK 2050 is Now team hosted a workshop with 34 NGO representatives designed to receive feedback and support their own submissions.
Hong Kong was benchmarked against other cities and regions globally and cities in Mainland China, including the C40 cities and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.