The future of the 7.7 billion humans on Earth and the natural world is not separate, yet human actions that disregard environmental consequences have created pressures shaping the functioning of the Earth’s natural systems.
A rise in GHG emissions from human activity is leading to a rise in average temperatures, as well as more extreme weather events. The “new normal” of a warming world is creating knock on effects in every conceivable aspect of our daily lives, affecting everything from the air we breathe to the food we eat and helping to accelerate a 6th mass extinction. Climate change is fundamentally disrupting the ecological and social systems that sustain us.
The climate crisis is a collective predicament. We must come together to safeguard the natural wealth of our Earth, while addressing fundamental questions such as water, food, and energy security. Such is the challenge facing our generation today.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we need to do everything we can to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5°C, and this would require human civilisation as a whole to be close to carbon neutrality by 2050. At this critical moment in our planet’s history, we need to take initiative and engage in immediate action. Germany and the United Kingdom have both committed to net zero emissions goals for 2050. It is time for Hong Kong to do the same.
Hong Kong’s Climate Action plan 2030+ is expected to achieve “peak carbon” by 2020 and absolute carbon emissions will be reduced to 26-36% by 2030 from the 2005 level. This is not enough to reverse the rapid change to our climate due to carbon emissions and the irreversible damage it will cause to life in Hong Kong. The world would need to halve the emissions from the current levels by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050 in order to limit the global warming to 1.5˚C and Hong Kong needs to align its actions to this goal.
When responding to the climate crisis, a key question is: Where do we want to be as a society in 2050, and how do we get there?
The 2050 is Now mindset is about tackling the climate crisis by making today’s decisions longer term. We must work toward a Hong Kong that is greener, cleaner, and more liveable. We must take collective steps to get there.
Change is within reach, and we get to decide our future.
The challenges facing Hong Kong are wide ranging and complex. We therefore need all of you – no matter who you are, and how much time you have – to get involved and help build a powerful movement towards a decarbonised and sustainable Hong Kong.
Just as walking on sand leaves a footprint, burning fuel for human activity leaves greenhouse gases in the air, creating a carbon footprint. Everything we have, use, and consume, from food to clothes to transportation, is intimately linked to Hong Kong’s overall emissions figure.
According to WWF, if everyone on Earth led the same lifestyle as we do in Hong Kong, 4.2 Earths would be required to fulfil our resource need.