By Lisa Genasci, CEO ADM Capital Foundation
Under the HK2050 is Now banner, Civic Exchange (CEx) and World Resources Institute (WRI) launched a roadmap to decarbonize Hong Kong.
The report, “Towards a Better Hong Kong: Pathways to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050” represents a year of work for the two think tanks and shows that if we act now Hong Kong can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90%. Decarbonizing the power sector, improving building efficiency, and enhancing mobility show the greatest potential for emission reductions, the report says.
Highlighting the urgency for the Hong Kong government to step up with policies in these sectors, HK 2050 is Now says we can build a carbon-neutral future that is greener and more-liveable, with minimal pollution, readily available public transport, low-carbon lifestyles and more.
Potential reductions in these sectors amount to a total of 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between now and 2050 should the report’s policy recommendations be fully adopted.
The first in a series of projects by Hong Kong 2050 is Now, the report estimates that 26,000 lives could be saved from cleaner air and there would be HK$ 460 billion in monetized benefits by 2050.
With limited manufacturing, a carbon-neutral Hong Kong is within reach, the report says, and the city can be a leader, showing the way for others regionally and globally.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urged the international community to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to avoid irreversible consequences of climate change.
The comprehensive report States that Hong Kong is likely to achieve our 2030 climate target of reducing absolute carbon emissions by 26-36% compared with 2005. But Hong Kong has yet to set targets to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This report provides that pathway.
This represents the first in a series of projects by Hong Kong 2050 is Now, an initiative of Civic Exchange, WRI, ADMCF, RS Group, and WYNG Foundation, with a mission of transforming Hong Kong into a carbon-neutral city.
HK2050 is Now is currently embarking on Phase Two—conducting deep dives into sector-specific areas, including energy supply, building energy efficiency, transportation, carbon pricing, and lifestyle to provide analysis and more detailed solutions for Hong Kong.
|Key Policy Recommendations for Hong Kong’s Roadmap to a Zero-Emissions Future|
|Decarbonization Sector||Reduction potential (million tons CO2e)||Key policies|
|Energy||27||· Develop more local renewable energy|
· Complete the transition from coal to gas fired electricity generation. Plan to add carbon capture and storage (CCS) to gas fired generation units when the technology is viable
· Source more near zero carbon energy from regional sources
· Replace gas with zero or near zero hydrogen
|Building Energy Efficiency||10.6||· Introduce stricter energy efficiency standards|
· Make transparent energy efficiency reporting a pre-requisite for GFA concessions.
· Incentivize retrofits.
|Transportation||6.7||· Tighten vehicle fuel economy standards|
· Implement an electric vehicle sales mandate by mid-2030