Key Recommendation 7:
Decarbonize to respond to climate emergency

 

Current Status:

A great co-benefit of reducing emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) is reducing local air pollution emissions which is harmful to human health. All these emissions are produced by fossil fuel combustion and have the same origin.

A crucial co-benefit of lowering GHG emissions is the simultaneous reduction in local air pollution and its associated detrimental health effects. For example, abatement of 1 tonne of Carbon Dioxide leads to a corresponding reduction of 1.69 kilograms (kg) of Fine Particulate Matters (PM2.5), 1.66 kg of Respirable Particulate Matters (PM10), 1.93 kg of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and 1.74 kg of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) in Hong Kong. Emissions of PM2.5 are projected to be 59 per cent lower in 2050 under the Decarbonization Scenario under a World Resources Institute report [1] than under the Current Policy Scenario. Accumulated estimated avoided mortality from now to 2050 is that 34.4 thousand lives will be saved from reduced particulates.

As the Paris Agreement applies to the HKSAR, the HKSAR Government has pledged to develop a long term decarbonization strategy. In additionally, the Chief Executive has reinstated the commitment to focus on Sustainable Development Goals, including to ensure well-being of all ages and take climate action.

 

Recommendations

7.1       In order to fulfil the Chief Executive’s commitment [2] to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to address climate emergency, CAN urges the HKSAR Government to strengthen policy measures to decarbonize mobility, building, energy, waste areas.

 

7.2   Specifically, we urge the HKSAR Government to

  • accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in Hong Kong
  • invest in climate resilient and energy efficient buildings
  • nurture increases in Hong Kong’s use of renewable energy
  • identify future job requirements and providing training to growth employment in low-carbon emission sectors of Hong Kong’s economy
  • invest in nature-based solutions which reduce Hong Kong’s carbon emissions and to enhance resilience
  • accelerate introduction of mandatory waste charging, producer responsibility for plastic containers and making the waste recycling systems more robust

 


[1] World Resources Institute (2020). Towards a Better Hong Kong – Pathways to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050. Executive Summary p.10.

Retrieved from: https://civic-exchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Hong-Kong-2050-policy-report_Final-20200626-1.pdf

[2] China Daily (2018). HK to advance UN global sustainable development goals

Retrieved from: https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/142/13/149/1515425594355.html

Story posted on
27th Sep, 2020

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