Environment Secretary discusses the greening of Hong Kong
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Mr Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government, delivered a talk entitled “Hong Kong - A Green City?” on 17 September, analysing the environmental status in Hong Kong. The talk is organised as part of the new multi-disciplinary programme on environmental policy studies offered by City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
The environment is one of the most challenging, divisive and important issue in politics. The need to balance preservation of the environment with the economic need for natural resources has spawned a new offshoot to the undergraduate curriculum. To cater for this new demand for professionals, CityU launched the Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Environmental Policy Studies in 2009-10. Professionals and experts from relevant fields will be invited to deliver guest talks that keep students informed of the latest environmental developments.
As the first guest speaker, Mr Yau said everybody loved the idea of being green but all harboured a different perspective on how it should be achieved. After showing a series of “I Love Hong Kong, I Love Green” videos, he illustrated Hong Kong’s green performances with statistics and compared the city with other metropolitan centres, such as Tokyo and New York.
According to Mr Yau, cleaner air, efficient waste management and greener buildings were three major areas the Hong Kong Government was focused on. “Hong Kong has collaborated with Guangdong Province under the vision of ‘Green Pearl River Delta Quality Living Area’, to coordinate a joint policy and resource effort in relation to economic development. The aim was to pursue growth without jeopardising the environment,” he said.
The talk prompted an enthusiastic response from the audience, who raised questions about electric vehicles, carbon trading, power utilities and bus companies, and public relations. “The most important factor in greening HongKong is whole-hearted support from citizens,” Mr Yau concluded.
The programme was launched by the Department of Public and Social Administration and is taught jointly by the Department of Asian and International Studies and Department of Biology and Chemistry. It provides students with the necessary multidisciplinary academic and professional training in governance and policy-making in relation to the natural environment.