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Paris and Marrakesh: Where is the action on climate change going?
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Paris and Marrakesh: Where is the action on climate change going?

Civic Exchange, the Business Environment Council (BEC) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology co-organised a free seminar on the business of climate change, 13 December at the Hong Kong Club Building.

You can read the summary report here.

Please watch highlight videos below, including one of Maura Wong, Civic Exchange's CEO, in the Welcome Remarks.

          

Issues

·         What actions are the U.N., businesses and governments taking?

·         How big a gap is there between today’s reality, planned action, and what is needed to avoid truly dangerous climate change?

·         What does China’s planned national carbon trading scheme mean for Hong Kong? 

·         How might the Trump presidency affect the Paris Agreement?

Background

In late 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed the Paris Agreement, which deals with greenhouse gas emission mitigation, adaptation and finance. It is to be implemented starting in 2020.

To-date, 193 nations have signed the agreement and 114 ratified it. It went into effect 4 November. On 7-18 November, the COP met in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Speakers and moderators (in alphabetic order):

Ms. Esther Blythe is the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, where she also heads the Economic Diplomacy Team, working to strengthen the UK-Hong Kong economic relationship. Esther was Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy Bucharest (2010-2014) and was Britain’s Acting Ambassador in Romania in 2014. Before that, she held two roles in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London: coordinating the work of UK embassies around the world on climate change, and working on UK policy in the United Nations, G8 and European Union on counter-terrorism. Esther graduated in English Language and Literature from New College, Oxford University.

Mr. Eric Chong, President and CEO of Siemens Hong Kong, is leading the company’s overall efforts to provide sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, healthcare, buildings, power distribution and industry for Hong Kong and Macao.  As a senior executive for more than 20 years, Eric has worked at various countries in Asia, including 10 years in China.  He is a member of the BEC’s Board of Directors and serves as the Chair of Climate Change Business Forum, an advisory group under BEC. He is also member of the HKTDC Electronics / Electrical Appliances Industries Advisory Committee.

Mr. Jonathan Drew is a Managing Director in the Infrastructure and Real Estate Group at HSBC. Jonathan started his banking career more than 20 years ago in London. He worked in Latin America and raised capital for large scale projects in the Middle East. Since 1997, he has been based in Hong Kong, witnessing first-hand the rapid growth of Asia, notably China. During this time, he has been involved in a wide range of sectors, including financing for projects that produce and deliver energy (renewable and non-renewable) and transport people and resources from source to point of consumption. He also works on infrastructure projects in social and education sectors with a focus on resource efficiency and sustainability. Jonathan graduated with an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Mr. Raymond Fong is the General Manager of the Environmental Management Division of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC).  He has ample experience in air pollution control, energy efficiency, cleaner production as well as environmental management studies. On top of leading a wide range of environmental and energy related projects and studies for the government, public, industrial and commercial sectors, Raymond has been a co-opt member of the Hong Kong Government’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Subcommittee since 2008 to offer expert advice on energy policy formulation. 

Mr. J. Robert Gibson is an Adjunct Professor at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and a Fellow of Civic Exchange.  He focuses on mechanisms for making capitalism more sustainable and facilitating action by business to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. He worked for the Swire Group up to 2010 including being the Director Sustainable Development for John Swire & Sons (HK) from 2007 to 2010.

Dr. Jeanne Ng is responsible for CLP Group's sustainability matters, including sustainability-related strategy, reporting and communications. She holds a BSc in Toxicology from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Environmental Management from the University of Hong Kong.  She is currently a Board member of a number of organisations including the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the Hong Kong Institute of Qualified Environmental Professionals (HKIQEP).

Ms. Hannah Routh is a climate change and green finance specialist with 20 years of experience in the field. She leads the Sustainability and Climate Change consulting practice for PwC China. Recently Hannah has advised the Financial Services Development Council and the Business 20 (B20) on green finance issues. Before joining PwC in 2011, Hannah ran the China office of a London-listed climate policy and carbon trading advisory company for five years, prior to which she worked in London and Swaziland on sustainable energy projects.  

Ms. Maya de Souza heads the Business Environment Council’s Policy Research Team, leading BEC’s work on developing recommendations for government policy across priority policy areas; she works through BEC’s Advisory Groups on Climate Change, Energy and Transport. Maya has worked for 10 years in environmental policy and sustainability. Before joining BEC, Maya worked for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs leading a number of policy teams. Prior to this, Maya worked as a lawyer in the commercial and non-commercial sector. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a Masters in Law from the University of London and a first degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. 

Dr. Mark Watson, Head of Sustainable Development at John Swire & Sons (HK), was previously Head of Environmental Affairs at Cathay Pacific, where he led the airline’s efforts in securing a global climate deal on aviation emissions at the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Mark has worked in the sustainable development arena for more than 20 years in China, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.

Ms. Maura Wong joined Civic Exchange in 2016. With deep-rooted interests in the environment and public policy, Maura brings extensive business as well as non-profit experience to her role leading Civic Exchange. Since 2010 she has worked towards a more sustainable environment in China through making private equity investment in the renewable energy as well as environment sector. Before that, she co-ran one of the largest Asian buyout funds at the time, JP Morgan Partners Asia, as a Founding Partner and head of Greater China. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International & Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.