Solve Climate by 2030
Climate Resilience in Hong Kong
2030 is the target year to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, an action plan for people, planet and prosperity. Without immediate actions to combat the climate crisis, we may have to face extreme weather, floods, droughts and sea-level rise by 2030, with dire consequences.
With a steadfast commitment to promoting sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) presented a webinar “Climate Resilience in Hong Kong” on 14 April 2021, as part of the worldwide campaign Solve Climate by 2030, a Global Dialogue involving 125 webinars engaging local experts across the globe to address climate change.
The webinars will serve as learning materials (#MakeClimateAClass) for universities and secondary schools around the world and facilitate the development of climate solutions through just transition (in energy and other sectors) and green recovery.
CUHK, in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Hong Kong and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, took part in this campaign which is one of the largest academic movements of 2021.
The CUHK webinar explored what the government of Hong Kong, the private sector and civil society can do to foster climate resilience in the city’s developments. Mr. Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment spoke on the city’s plan towards carbon neutrality, Dr. Jeanne Ng, Director, CLP Research Institute spoke on the building of climate resilience in the power sector, and Dr. William Yu, CEO, World Green Organisation talked about how to get the community ready to build urban resilience in face of the climate crisis.
Please revisit the CUHK webinar to look at ways to foster climate resilience in Hong Kong.
|Mr. Wong Kam-sing
GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government
Mr. Wong Kam-sing was born in 1963 and graduated from the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong. He received further education on sustainable built environment in the postgraduate programme from the University of British Columbia in Canada. He assumed the post of the Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government on 1 July 2012.
As an architect by profession, Mr. Wong has been promoting sustainable built environment since 1990s. His designs and researches on sustainable built environment have won him various local, regional and international awards. He served as the founder Chairman of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the Chairman of the Professional Green Building Council and the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, and has contributed to the promotion and research of the standards and guidelines for sustainable built environment applicable to the high-density urban environment of Hong Kong.
During his tenure as the Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Wong has launched and updated a number of policy blueprints covering air quality, waste management, energy saving, climate actions and biodiversity.
Towards Carbon Neutrality
The 2020 Policy Address announced that Hong Kong would strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. Later this year the Government will update Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan covering the latest strategies on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
In 2014, Hong Kong’s carbon emissions peaked. In 2017, the Government launched Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ which mapped out the decarbonisation target and climate actions up to 2030.
This year we are in the process of issuing various updated or new environmental plans that will reinforce the forthcoming climate action plan. For example, the “Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035” published in February sets out the vision of “Waste Reduction • Resources Circulation • Zero Landfill” and ways to tackle the challenge of waste management up to 2035. The first “Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles” was released in March to guide Hong Kong towards zero vehicular emissions before 2050.
|Dr. Jeanne Ng
Director, CLP Research Institute, CLP Holdings Limited
Dr. Jeanne Ng is currently the Chair of the Hong Kong Institute of Qualified Environmental Professionals Limited (HKIQEP) and Director of the CLP Research Institute. Dr. Ng holds a BSc in Toxicology from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Environmental Management from the University of Hong Kong. She has a decade of consulting experience in Hong Kong’s environmental industry as one of Hong Kong’s foremost experts in air and greenhouse gas emissions inventories, including developing Hong Kong’s first greenhouse gas inventory manual for the HKSAR Government.
She joined CLP in 2003 and was involved in starting up its Group Environmental Affairs and Group Sustainability functions. She was also involved in setting up CLP Group’s first: renewable energy targets, Climate Vision 2050 carbon reduction targets and CLP’s Sustainable Development 2030 targets.
Dr. Ng attended the side events of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every year between 2008 and 2017 (COP14-23) through CLP’s involvement with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). As an active member of their Climate and Energy focus area and their Electric Utilities Sector project, she has contributed to power sector and climate change-related WBCSD publications.
Building Climate Resilience in the Power Sector
Under a business-as-usual scenario, the average global temperature rise is projected to be around 3 to 4 °C. Evidence suggests that, even under the 1.1°C of average global temperature rise recorded to date, significant climate-related risks are already emerging.
Physical climate risks have the potential to compromise the integrity of power generation, transmission and distribution assets, as well as disrupt the value chain including upstream fuel supply and downstream service delivery. As one of Hong Kong’s two electricity suppliers, CLP already has a range of measures in place to enhance the reliance of its plants and operations and it is currently building capacity to assess future physical climate risk at an asset level.
|Dr. William Yu
CEO, World Green Organisation
Dr. William Yu is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation (WGO). Dr. Yu is an energy economist and climate professional by training and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He also earned an Executive MBA degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the US. Dr. Yu had gained valuable regional management experience by working at US multinationals and a financial institution. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of several universities. His publications in international academic journals cover energy policy, indoor built environment, green manufacturing, as well as the United Nations (UN) Green Business Guide.
Dr. Yu is the ESBN Task Force Member of The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific of the UN. He also serves as Chairman in the Judging Panel of the BDO ESG Awards and Deputy Chairman in the Smart Living Award under the Hong Kong ICT Awards. He is a Faculty of The Hong Kong Green Building Council. Dr. Yu belongs to the Air Quality Objectives Review Working Group of the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, and is a Member of the Appeal Board Panel, Town Planning as well as Sustainable Development Council, HKSAR Government. He is also a Steering Committee Member of FOOD-CO of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Dr. Yu has served as Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Social Impact Analyst.
Getting Community Ready to Build Urban Resilience in Face of Climate Crisis
Rapid urbanisation will bring 70% of the world’s population to urban areas by 2050. In light of climate uncertainties, our cities will be facing increasing types of risk, ranging from environmental, socio-technical to socioeconomic. However, building urban resilience is often limited to the discussion on infrastructure and system equilibrium on the policy and academic level. The engagement to involve stakeholders, especially the general citizens to build adaptive capacity is lacking. The emergency of global pandemic has not only exposed fragility across our urban systems but also revealed the importance of flexibility to cope with the current and future catastrophic failures—expected and unexpected. Building resilient urban systems actually requires different degrees of persistence, transition and transformation. Community engagement and research should be conducted to provide further insights on the processes and fill the gap.
|Prof. Tung Fung
Director, Institute of Future Cities, CUHK
Prof. Tung Fung is professor and chairperson of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He serves concurrently as Director of the Institute of Future Cities (IOFC) and Associate Director of the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability (IEES) at CUHK. He was Associate Vice-President of CUHK (2009–2017), Interim Dean of Faculty of Social Science (2014) and Chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management (2005–2008). Under his leadership, a campus master plan was conducted and seven academic buildings and five new colleges were built, and the University earned the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence in 2009 and 2014.
Prof. Fung’s researches include the integration of the geographic information system (GIS), census and satellite data for hill fire modeling, environmental quality assessment, wetland monitoring, mangrove species mapping, and leaf area index modeling. He also developed techniques in hyperspectral data analysis, object-oriented image analysis, and multifractal analysis for image fusion,image classification, and change detection.
Prof. Fung led his research team to work on consultancy projects on broad land use mapping, GIS in planning studies and mangrove habitat mapping for various government departments. He is currently leading IOFC in smart city research in the development of novel sensors and data analytics for smart building and environment.
|Prof. Mee Kam Ng
Programme Director, Urban Studies Programme, CUHK
Prof. Mee Kam Ng is Vice-chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, the Director of the Urban Studies Programme, Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities, the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and the Yunus Social Business Centre at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
She is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners and academic advisor of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design. She was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom in 2016. She has completed over 30 research projects and published widely on planning, governance and sustainability issues in Pacific Asia. Her publications have earned her six Hong Kong Institute of Planners’ Awards and the 2015 Association of European Schools of Planning Best Published Paper Award. She has been a consultant to the United Nations, the European Union and the Municipal Government of Shenzhen. The Urban Studies Programme she directed is a Member of the UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, promoting the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.