Role Play Discussion Worksheet (4)

The convenor (this role could be played by the teacher) introduces the topic of the mock conference:

“How can people from different sectors reduce carbon emissions?”

Participants of the conference:

Government representative, representative from commercial and industrial sector, citizen, representative from environmental organisations

Purpose of the conference and requirements for the roles:

  • Climate change is affecting everywhere in the Earth. Like other coastal cities, Hong Kong faces multiple climate-related threats, including rising temperatures and more extreme weather phenomena. An organisation having great concern for climate change invites people from all walks of life to participate in a conference, seeking practical solutions to reduce carbon emissions so as to mitigate climate change.
  • You are a representative of a certain sector (please follow the assignment of your teacher), and are invited to attend the conference to share opinions. Please refer to the following conference background and relevant information of your role, and try to come up with more arguments and collect more examples through other channels to support the role play. Prepare a speech at the conference for your role (about 100 words, for about 2-3 minutes).

Conference background:

Succeeding the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement* is an ambitious multilateral treaty agreed in December 2015 by 196 signatories with a view to combating climate change and taking actions towards a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. China formally signed it on Earth Day, 22 April 2016.

Every 5 years, all signatories must formulate their own “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) with targets and timelines to be set

Limiting the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels

Note: *International shipping and aviation are not included in the Paris Agreement. International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization are responsible for carbon reduction of their respective sectors.

To limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the world will need to reduce absolute carbon emissions between 40% to 70% by 2050 compared with 2010 and to achieve net zero emissions of CO2 and other GHGs before 2100. The recent Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C of the IPCC has provided scientific evidence that limiting warming to 1.5°C could further reduce climate risks compared with limiting it to 2°C. Yet, it is already an audacious plan to limit global warming to 2°C. To go further beyond to 1.5°C will require global carbon emissions reaching net zero around 2050.

Our Response to The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement came into force on 4 November 2016. As decided by the Central People’s Government, the Paris Agreement applies to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. We are obliged by 2020 to formulate a long-term decarbonisation strategy up to 2050. We are also obliged to review our climate change efforts every 5 years. As of now, we are on track to achieving the carbon intensity target of 65% to 70% by 2030 using 2005 as the base.

Assignment of roles and relevant references

(names of the roles are fictitious )

Key views
  • Formulate short-term and medium-term measures, such as accelerating tax deduction for renewable energy and energy-efficient building installations, promoting different energy-saving measures and technologies to the industry, conducting regular energy and carbon audits on major government buildings, encouraging bureaux and departments to apply for green building certification for buildings under their management, through systematic planning and consulting organisations/stakeholders from different sectors.
  • Improve public awareness on energy saving and emissions reduction, for example, through organising the “Energy Saving for All” Campaign.
  • Develop “Smart City”, and reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector.
  • A $300 million Pilot Green Transport Fund (the Fund) has been put in place since March 2011 to encourage the public transport sector and goods vehicle operators to test out green innovative transport technologies. As at end August 2020, the Fund approved 183 trials, amounting to a total subsidy of about $146 million. Of them, 110 and 65 were electric commercial vehicles (e-CVs) and hybrid commercial vehicles (h-CVs) respectively, involving a total of 152 e-CVs and 97 h-CVs. Others involve trials of 1 set of solar air-conditioning system for bus, 4 sets of electric inverter air-conditioning systems for buses, 3 diesel-electric propulsion systems for ferries, and 1 seawater scrubber for a ferry. To further encourage trial and wider use of green innovative transport technologies, the Government extended the scope of the Fund and renamed the Fund as the “New Energy Transport Fund” (“NET Fund”).
  • To further reduce our carbon footprint and air pollutant emissions from power plants, the Government will revise its fuel mix in 2020 to increase gas-fired generation to about 50% and reduce coal-fired generation to about 25%. Hence, by then, electric vehicles (EVs) should emit even less carbon dioxide on average than their conventional counterparts (tank-to-wheel) on the same mileage travelled.
  • The Government will continue to promote the adoption of new energy vehicles, including EVs. The number of EVs in Hong Kong has increased to 15,300 as at the end of July 2020 from less than 100 at the end of 2010. The Financial Secretary announced in the 2020-21 Budget that the Government would update the Clean Air Plan and formulate Hong Kong’s first roadmap on the popularisation of EVs. The Government is actively preparing for relevant work, and will further examine the policy objectives and plans of promoting the use of EVs, including the study on formulating the direction and roadmap to ban the sale of fuel-propelled vehicles.

For relevant information, please refer to pages 26 to 31 of the “Public Engagement on Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy” issued by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Key views
  • Convert existing buildings into green ones, for example, through energy saving, energy audit, carbon audit, retro-commissioning and retrofitting.
  • Develop an Energy Saving Charter for offices, asking employees to reduce energy consumption.
Turn off lights if there is sufficient natural daylight.
Set and maintain air-conditioned average room temperature between 24 °C and 26 °C in summer.
Procure energy efficient office equipment.
Switch off power source of the office equipment that are not in use. Avoid leaving them in standby mode.
Reduce the brightness level of the screen to the lowest comfortable level.
Install occupancy / motion sensors to automatically switch on and off the air-conditioning and lighting in areas infrequently used.
Dress light to minimise the use of air conditioning.
Unplug all equipment chargers and adapters when they are not in use.
Carry out regular maintenance on office equipment for optimal energy efficiency performance.
Arrange the last-person-out to check and switch off the power source to all air conditioning, lighting and office equipment that are not in use.

For more relevant information, please refer to pages 20 and 44 of the “Public Engagement on Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy” issued by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Key views
  • Take energy saving measures at home to save energy to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Take actions in respect of clothing, food, living and travel, to reduce carbon emissions in daily life.
Use fans instead of air conditioners as far as possible.
Choose home appliances with “Grade 1” energy label.
Adopt inverter type air conditioners which can save up to 40% annual electricity consumption comparing with non-inverter type air conditioners in general.
Switch off power source of the electronic appliances that are not in use to avoid leaving them in standby mode.
Turn off the lights when not in use.
Check door seals to make sure they are airtight. Avoid opening the refrigerator door too frequently.
Fully load the washing machine – a half load of clothes uses about the same amount of energy as full load.
Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient LED light bulbs.
Take showers instead of baths uses 50% less hot water and energy.
Choose fan-forced electric ovens which can save more energy over conventional electric ovens.

For more relevant information, please refer to pages 22-25, 44 of the “Public Engagement on Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy” issued by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Key views
  • Learn from international experience and follow successful practices.
  • Focus on education and public awareness, and promote climate-aware behaviour in public.
  • Reduce carbon emissions from energy production and use.

In order to promote climate-aware behaviour, Berlin has put forward a broad spectrum of education and communications strategies for the public and businesses:

  • A “climate saving book” is to promote energy efficiency and sufficiency. It contains tips about climate-friendly consumption and behaviour
  • Measures aimed at changing everyday habits: Berliners could collect points for environment-friendly consumption using a green bonus card and then cash them in, e.g. when they repair defect products instead of disposing them or when they use climate-friendly modes of transport
  • To launch pilot projects and initiatives, e.g. “climate-neutral campus”; turn climate neutrality into mainstream concept and through communication activities and campaigns aimed at groups, e.g. “Energy Efficiency Campaign for Berlin” targeted at the general public
  • To provide advice and expand the network of SMEs for climate-friendly innovations; and establish energy and climate protection fund to support the industry

Denmark is a world leading country in wind energy production. In 2017, nearly 44% of Denmark’s electricity consumption was supplied by land and sea wind turbines. Additional wind farms will contribute to further increases in Danish wind power production in the future.

On the other hand, the interconnections with a number of surrounding grids such as Norway, Sweden and Germany allow Denmark to export excessive wind power when necessary, and to import Norwegian hydropower, Swedish nuclear power and German solar power when the wind is still.


In January 2019, the German government announced that it would phase out coal-fired electricity generation by 2038. The decision is subject to review in 2032.

By 2050, Berlin aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 85% compared with the level in 1990. In October 2017, Berlin was the first federal state of Germany to pass law which seeks to phase out the usage of coal, putting an end to coal based electricity and heat generation by 2030. To replace the coal-fired power stations as they are closed down, by building decentralised gas-based Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants which will generate both electricity and district local heating.

For more relevant information, please refer to pages 21, 41-42 of the Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy Public Engagement of the Council for Sustainable Development.

Key views

Outline of the speech﹕

the teacher may give out hints depending on the situation

Gratitude for the invitation (briefly)
Explain your belief in the importance of decarbonisation and your stance based on your role.
Suggestions for decarbonisation (point out the importance and feasibility of the strategies/measures, and propose specific ways of implementation.)
Summarise the content of the speech (briefly)

Conference procedures and activity worksheet

A. Conference Procedures Form

Time RequiredProcedures and Speech Outline
3min The chairman hosts the conference and briefly introduces the purpose of the forum:
  • Briefly introduce the background of the forum.
  • Thank the representatives for their participation.
  • Arrange the order of speaking and briefly introduce the conference procedures.
20 min The roles give out speeches in turn, each for about 2-3 minutes.
10 min (Determine whether to have the following interactive sessions depending on the capability of the students and length of the class)

Students who are audience may raise questions to, or put forth supplementary ideas for, any role, for example:

  • Challenge the feasibility of the measure/suggestion on decarbonisation.
  • Propose additional measure/suggestion on decarbonisation.

Each role will have 1 minute to respond to the question or express opinion on the supplementary idea.

2 min The chairman announces the end of the conference, thanks the experts for their participation and the valuable opinions proposed at the conference.

Conference Abstract Worksheet

(for students who do not act as any of the roles at the conference)