HONG KONG, September 2020 — Civic Exchange submitted the following recommendations to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor
The continued commitment from the Government to decarbonize Hong Kong’s economy, amid the complex challenges of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, is important. This is critical to the economic prospects and liveability of the city. We note, however, that progress in reducing the average energy use in commercial buildings (measured in kWhr/sqm/year) is very slow. Also, the number of private cars in Hong Kong increased by 64% between 2005 and 2017. Community and special interest groups continue to oppose key decarbonization initiatives. Acknowledging the counter-currents that are offsetting the effects of the decarbonization measures that have been introduced is essential for the development of strategy to put Hong Kong on the path to sustainable prosperity.
Our view is that the present crisis is an opportunity to restate the importance of decarbonization to Hong Kong’s recovery and future development. It is not simply a matter that delayed action now will lead to larger measures, having to be taken later, at much greater cost. Action on decarbonization today will provide fresh employment and business activities that can offset damage to the economy from COVID-19 and reassert Hong Kong’s place as a city committed to building better prospects for its own people and for the world.
- Grow low-carbon jobs and businesses across Hong Kong’s economy
- Identify climate risks and invest in climate resilience
- Grow Hong Kong’s clean energy sector and source more low carbon electricity from the Greater Bay Area
- Ramp up Hong Kong’s building energy efficiency
- Devise and implement a plan for Hong Kong’s adoption of low carbon mobility
- Make Hong Kong’s material use more circular
- Further improve Hong Kong’s air quality
- Make Hong Kong a more walkable city
- Improve urban spaces and metropolitan growth
- A clear 2050 vision supported by a comprehensive road map for short- and long-term action
NB: We mention the ”clear 2050 vision” last as many of the other actions are more immediately relevant. This 2050 vision should, however, become the guiding light for future policy development in all areas.