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    Hong Kong Environment Secretary shares net zero vision

    Published On: 24 September 2021

    Pilot schemes for hydrogen-fuelled transport and a smart meter rollout are among the measures being looked at by the Hong Kong government as it seeks to reach carbon neutrality, the SAR’s Environment Secretary told an Asia House audience yesterday (23 September).

    Wong Kam-sing said Hong Kong was “committed to carbon neutrality” and that a pathway to reaching net zero will be set out in its upcoming Climate Action Plan – elements of which will feature in Carrie Lam’s policy address next month. “We are taking a one-government approach to climate change”, he said.

    Hong Kong’s strategy for deep decarbonisation has a major focus on transport, the Environment Secretary said, citing the progress made so far in building public momentum behind electric vehicles (EVs).

    “In 2020, one out of every eight cars bought in Hong Kong was an EV – the highest ratio in Asia,” he said. “By April this year, it had already increased to one in five.”

    His department is also planning pilot schemes for hydrogen powered buses, Secretary Wong added, highlighting the growing importance of element H for the city’s future energy mix.

    “We are training our people to understand more about hydrogen trends,” he said.

    Other measures include updated building regulations to lower energy consumption and ensuring every home has a smart meter within the next seven years.

    The online dialogue was convened as part of the Asia House COP26 Programme, which has previously featured key figures including COP26 President Alok Sharma; Wang Yao, Director of the Green Finance Institute; Preety Bhandari, Chief of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management at the ADB; and the Saudi Ambassador to the UK, HRH Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

    Asia House Chief Executive Michael Lawrence chaired the discussion, bringing in questions from corporate stakeholders around the world. Issues raised with Secretary Wong included Hong Kong’s role in the green bond market; the SAR’s strategy for securing renewable energies; and efforts to reduce air pollution. Secretary Wong was also challenged about Hong Kong’s role in financing coal power plants overseas, and whether the government is aware of the environmental impact of its renewable energy sources.

    The discussion provided a key opportunity for members of the Asia House network to gain insights on Hong Kong’s approach to one of the most pressing global issues of our time.

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