Members of the British and European Parliaments today welcomed the publication of the first report to consider the economic impacts of climate change on the Greater Pearl River Delta. The report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, was released yesterday by local think-tank Civic Exchange.
“This report echoes the recent report by former World Bank Chief Economist Sir Nicholas Stern, which points to the economic effects of climate change on world GDP,” said UK MP Elliot Morley, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative to the Gleneagles Dialogue & President of GLOBE International & Chair of the G8+5 Climate Change Dialogue. “The effects of climate change in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta will not only impact those who live and work there, but will have profound economic impacts globally.”
Former Secretary General of the United Nations and European Parliament Rapporteur for a Post Kyoto Agreement, Anders Wijkman MEP, urged Hong Kong businesses and government to take action: “The report from Civic Exchange is a serious, timely and extremely important study that should be on the desks of all within Hong Kong’s business community. To address climate change effectively requires swift action all over the world – both to curb emissions and to increase the resilience of society to the inevitable consequences of climate change. The engagement of the business community in this process is welcomed” said Mr. Morley, who plans to hold discussions in Hong Kong with business representatives early next year at the invitation of Civic Exchange.
To date, Hong Kong has lagged behind the central government in research and planning on climate change issues. “I know these issues are taken seriously in China following meetings I recently held with the National People’s Congress,” said Mr. Morley. “However, this report is an invaluable addition to Hong Kong’s understanding of climate change.” According to Mr. Wijkman, “having access to both the intellectual as well as financial resources needed, Hong Kong ought to be in a good position to take a lead on both mitigation and adaptation”.
Mr. Morley added that the report will also be considered by the current GLOBE international dialogue on climate change, which he is overseeing for the Prime Minister with senior legislators from the G8+5 group of countries.