Climate change is an imminent global challenge that has no border. Floods, heatwaves, storms and other extreme weather phenonmena are increasing in frequency and intensity. Hong Kong, a coastal city with a subtropical climate, is especially vulnerable to risks related to climate change. For instance, Super Typhoons Hato and Mangkhut battered the city in 2017 and 2018 respectively. These are some of the latest grim evidence of the growing threats posed by climate change. Just a few months back, we even experienced the warmest winter solstice since records began in 1884. Climate scientists have warned that we have some 10 years left to thwart climate change before the damage becomes irreversible. Mitigating climate change is not just for ourselves, but is also our responsibility for our children and future generations.
The climate change crisis can only be effectively dealt with if the Government, private sector and civil society can work hand in hand. The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a remarkable step forward for international cooperation in climate actions. As this historic climate agreement is applicable to Hong Kong, we are obligated to draw up our own mid-century long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategy by 2020, with a view to holding 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 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Based on the above reasons, the Council for Sustainable Development (“SDC”) has decided to accept the Government’s invitation to launch a territory-wide public engagement on “Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy”. The SDC hopes to deepen public understanding of the negative impact of human induced carbon emissions, so as to facilitate Hong Kong’s transition towards a lower carbon economy. The public engagement would provide a platform to gauge the views of the community in formulating Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation strategy, charting practical pathways and developing feasible actions to achieve that target, thereby contributing to the global decarbonisation efforts.
Time is running out for combating climate change. The SDC sincerely invites you to participate in our public interactive activities, and send us your views and ideas by completing the views collection form at the end of the document. Your participation is vital. Let us map out Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation strategy together, and head towards the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement.
Chairman, Council for Sustainable Development