The context for COP25 included:
- The IPCC’s special reports on 1.5°C, Land and Oceans. – See the briefing the IPCC gave in Hong Kong this October
- Tense geopolitics with USA starting its formal withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, increased deforestation in Brazil and continued investments in coal mining and coal fired power stations.
- Technological progress on renewable energy and the potential hydrogen economy.
Unfortunately, COP25 failed to finalise the Paris Rulebook. This must now be done next year and risks obstructing country commitments to the reduced emissions science advises are essential.
On the other hand, ‘side events’ at the COP were extensive and showed the substantive work being done to meet the climate change challenge. Examples:
- The EU’s Green Deal to be carbon neutral by 2050
- The Energy Transitions Commission’s detailed sectoral analysis on carbon neutrality
- The UNPRI’s study on the ‘Inevitable Policy Response’ to the threat of severe climate change
The briefing reviewed the state of the UN negotiations, highlights from the side events and prospects for 2020 when Hong Kong must provide, via Beijing, its 2050 decarbonization plan.
|09:00||Opening Remarks (VIDEO)||Mr. Eric Chong, Business Environment Council|
|Session 1 – What did the Government negotiators achieve at Madrid? What actions are China and California taking? What will Governments do to deliver more ambitious ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ at COP26 in Glasgow next year?|
|Moderated by Mr. J. Robert Gibson, HKUST/Civic Exchange (VIDEO)|
|09:05||A view from California (VIDEO)||Prof. Cara Horowitz, UCLA|
|A view from Beijing (VIDEO)||Dr. Wee Kean Fong, WRI Beijing|
|Youth input at COP25 (VIDEO)||Mr. Lawrence Iu, Civic Exchange|
|Panel Discussion with Q&A (VIDEO)|
|Session 2 – Business action to decarbonize Hong Kong|
|Moderated by Mr. Simon Ng, Business Environment Council|
|10:40||Decarbonising electricity supply and electrifying our economy (VIDEO)||Mr. Joseph Law, CLP|
|Decarbonising shipping (VIDEO)||Mr. Martin Cresswell, Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA)|
|How companies can look beyond the normal business horizon and reduce their exposure to the ‘Inevitable Policy Response’ (VIDEO)||Mr. Tim Chan, Manulife Investment Management|
|Panel Discussion with Q&A (VIDEO)|
|11:55||Looking forwards to COP26 (VIDEO)||Mr. David Foster, British Consulate-General Hong Kong|
Mr. Tim Chan is responsible for ESG integration, research and related activities in Asia at Manulife Investment Management, including engaging with companies on ESG issues. Before joining Manulife Investment Management, Tim worked at Ernst & Young Hong Kong as an ESG advisory manager, where he provided ESG risk assessment consulting services to financial institutions, corporates and the government.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of Hong Kong. He is also a CFA charterholder and an EFFAS Certified ESG Analyst.
Mr. Eric Chong, President & CEO of Siemens Hong Kong & Macao, is leading the overall strategy in electrification, automation and digitalization, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries.
Mr. Chong is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Business Environment Council (BEC) and is serving as the Chair of BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group.
Mr. Martin Cresswell is Technical Director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA). He is a Marine Engineer with over 40 years experience of operating, managing and building merchant ships. He is currently Chairman of the Marine Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and was past Chairman of the HKSOA Technical Committee from 1996 to 2009. He is an active member of the Lloyds Register, ABS and DNVGL Technical Committees in Hong Kong.
Dr. Wee Kean Fong is the Deputy China Country Director and Senior Advisor to the Subnational Climate Action initiative at World Resources Institute (WRI). In China, Dr. Fong is leading WRI’s China Climate and Energy Program. He has been actively supporting provinces and cities in China to develop emissions peaking and long-term deep decarbonization strategy. He is also a senior advisor to a global initiative on subnational low carbon action which focuses on supporting cities and regions to measure greenhouse gas emissions, set emissions reduction targets, and plan and implement actions.
Mr. David Foster is Vice Consul for Economic Diplomacy at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, leading on climate change, biodiversity and the illegal wildlife trade. He has a background in counter-trafficking, counter-terrorism and human rights, gained from postings in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sudan.
Prof. Cara Horowitz is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. She researches public policy debate and legislative reform to address climate change and its effects. She serves on the governing boards environmental organizations, including the Climate Law Institute, Climate Resolve, and the Green LA Coalition. Prior to joining UCLA, she worked as a staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Mr. Lawrence Iu works at Civic Exchange on the ‘HK2050 Is Now’ project focused on how Hong Kong can reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. He previously worked in a multinational corporation and a higher institution on circular economy, green chemistry and other research projects. He holds a MPhil in Environmental Engineering, a MSc in Environmental Science and Management and a BEng in Chemical and Bioproduct Engineering from HKUST.
Mr. Joseph Law is Senior Director Planning and Development for CLP Power, the Hong Kong electricity business of CLP Group. CLP Power is a vertically integrated electricity supply business, serving 5.8 million people in its supply area. Joseph is responsible for corporate and strategic planning, tariff and regulatory management, as well as commercial projects developments. He has a range of experience in the energy business from finance, renewable energy development, project management, strategic planning and commercial development. Joseph has a banking background before joining CLP and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Ray Leung is one of the Section Heads in the Cross Boundary and International Group of the Environmental Protection Department, HKSAR Government, responsible for climate change policy coordination. One of his key work areas is to coordinate the development of Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation strategy. Before joining the group, Ray has worked in various groups of the department, responsible for air quality monitoring, emission inventory compilation, as well as development and implementation of different programmes to control vehicle emissions.
Mr. J. Robert Gibson is 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 which are causing 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.
Mr. Simon Ng is Director – Policy & Research of Business Environment Council. He is responsible for BEC’s work on policy advocacy, thought leadership development, and collaborative research on various environmental issues that BEC focuses on. Trained as a geographer, Mr Ng is known for his ground-breaking work on ship emissions inventory in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta in which his collaboration with the shipping industry led to the launch of the Fair Winds Charter. Mr. Ng has over 20 years of experience in academic/policy research, project management and stakeholder’s engagement. Before joining BEC, he was Chief Research Officer of Civic Exchange, an independent public policy think tank in Hong Kong.