SEE attends COP28 China Corner's Side Event in Dubai (with photos)

     The Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, yesterday (December 6, Dubai time) continued to attend the activities of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and delivered closing remarks at the China Corner's Side Event.
     Mr Tse continued to tell the Hong Kong story at the COP28. In his closing remarks, Mr Tse said that the country has set up the dual carbon targets of achieving the peak of carbon emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. Since Hong Kong's carbon emissions reached its peak in 2014, a more aggressive target of achieving carbon neutrality before 2050 and reducing carbon emissions by half before 2035 has been set up.
     He pointed out that the per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 in Hong Kong amounted to about 4.55 tonnes, when comparing with that of around 14.4 tonnes in the United States and of around 7.7 tonnes in the European Union, Hong Kong's decarbonisation progress is not worse than other regions.
     Hong Kong has set out four decarbonisation strategies, namely net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport and waste reduction, to actively reduce carbon emissions from source. In the area of energy transition, Hong Kong has ceased to build coal-fired generating units since 1997, and strived to reduce the use of coal in power generation with the target to stop the use of coal for daily electricity generation by 2035; promote the popularisation of electric vehicles and target to stop any new registration of fuel-propelled private cars including hybrid vehicles in 2035 or earlier; and heavily invest in the development of waste-to-energy facilities, so as to achieve "Zero Landfill" by 2035.
     Besides implementing decarbonisation strategies, Mr Tse pointed out that, to cope with the extreme weather due to climate change, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has set up a task force led by the Civil Engineering and Development Department to conduct a comprehensive review of the capability of infrastructure to cope with climate change. A steering committee has also been set up to enhance interdepartmental co-ordination in the response and recovery stages.
     Mr Tse added that, being an international financial centre, Hong Kong can provide a green financing platform by making use of blockchain technology, fintech, green bonds, etc, so as to make contribution to achieving carbon neutrality by different parts of the world and to developing a more sustainable future.

     This year's China Corner's Side Event was jointly organised by the Friends of the Earth (HK) and the Financial Services Development Council with the theme "Hong Kong's Drive Towards Green and Sustainable Development and Cutting-Edge Innovations". The Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services), Ms Salina Yan, also attended the event and delivered opening remarks.
     In the morning, Mr Tse and Ms Yan had a meeting with the Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, Mr Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, to share the strategies and experiences on combating climate change, and exchange views on future collaboration between the two places. After the meeting, Mr Tse visited the innovation centre of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, to learn about the development of renewable energy in Dubai.
     Ms Yan also met with the Chief Executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Mr Ian Johnston, in the morning to exchange views on the development and regulation of financial services in the two places.
     Mr Tse left Dubai at night on December 6 and arrived in Hong Kong on December 7.

Ends/Thursday, December 7, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:22