CY’s Last Call: Business looks at the Policy Address 2016

Environment: Carbon emissions & waste management

When hosting a Hong Kong session at the China Pavilion at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing presented a new target for reducing Hong Kong’s energy intensity by 40% by 2025. Following the conclusion of COP21 with a non-binding agreement on carbon emissions (to be distinguished from carbon intensity), Wong may advise Leung on what to incorporate into the policy address in this regard.

Regardless of the content, it is almost certain that Hongkong Electric and CLP will have a role to play, most probably through rearranging the fuel mix in the new Scheme of Control agreement as negotiations between the government and the two power companies progresses.

Building energy efficiency is Wong’s personal speciality. The recent announcement of new editions of Codes of Practice for Energy Efficiency of Building Services Installation and Building Energy Audit, which will be implemented in the second half of this year with a target energy savings of five billion kilowatt hours from all new buildings in Hong Kong, will be merit mention in the paper.

Leung will also likely reiterate his commitment to promoting recycling and waste management as the LegCo Public Accounts Committee’s public hearings on reduction and recycling of food waste and the government’s efforts in managing municipal solid waste continue. In October last year, the government launched a HKD$1 billion Recycling Fund, but Asia’s World City still lags far behind its regional counterparts in this area.

Last but not least, the construction of a HKD$19.2 billion incinerator in Shek Kwu Chau, to be tendered in this year, will be presented as a government effort to promote waste-to-energy initiatives, along with the Sludge Treatment Facility in Tuen Mun, which is expected to open in early 2016.

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Alex Fok

Alex Fok

Alex Fok is a Harbour Times journalist monitoring Hong Kong’s daily political scene and diplomatic updates. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics, Politics and International Studies from University of Warwick and his master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a former committee member of the Warwick-based Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society (WHKPASS) and was the chief editor of the society’s magazine – PASSTIMES.
Alex Fok