2021 was Hong Kong’s warmest year on record. Climate change is starting to impact biodiversity and increase the frequency of extreme weather events. All further net GHG emissions mean rising cost in human suffering and financial losses. Given the urgency, a prime objective of the budget should be to accelerate decarbonisation in Hong Kong and strengthen our resilience, particularly by planning for the consequences of the forecast multi-meter sea level rise coupled with storm surges.
Civic Exchange was pleased to be invited to share our views at the Budget Consultation session with other think tanks and academics last November. We welcome the commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 50% before 2035 and to reach net zero by 2050 included with Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050. However, action must be accelerated further, with a consensus from the UN’s COP26 that all countries should submit 2030 targets by the end of 2022. All commitments will need alignment among government departments and strong fiscal support.
Following our recommendations made at the session, Civic Exchange has developed this submission to the 2022 Budget Consultation, referencing our research as well as results from stakeholder engagements. We encourage the Financial Secretary to develop a science-based, holistic, and ambitious plan to fast-track climate change policy for Hong Kong. We have prioritised the following aspects:
- Power sector;
- Green and Sustainable Finance;
- Adaptation and Resilience
Our recommendations for each action target can be found in the Annex.
We hope that consideration will be given to our suggestions, which we believe will further help foster innovation, improve our energy supply, reduce energy consumption from our buildings and de-risk our economy, while promoting sustainable development for Hong Kong.
Click ‘Read More’ to read the full submission.
(Photo by Carla Martinesi on Unsplash)