CityU hosts roundtable discussion on tackling climate change

Joan Yip

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Government, business and social leaders took part in a roundtable forum at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 29 November to discuss Hong Kong’s strategies in dealing with climate change.

Discussions centred around two hot-button environmental issues: the development of nuclear energy in Hong Kong and reducing the carbon footprint in daily life.

The forum, which was titled “Tackling Climate Change: The Role of Government, Business and Local Community”, is the latest activity of the Public Policy Roundtable Series, which is jointly organised by CityU’s Governance in Asia Research Centre and SynergyNet.

Mr Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for the Environment, outlined in the forum the Government’s vision and strategies for tackling climate change.

The forum attracted an audience of 80 academics, students and representatives of corporations and public organisations. The event demonstrates CityU’s commitment to promoting research and debate on public policies.

Professor Gregory Lee, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at CityU, said in his welcoming speech that the forum was extremely important and timely as there is no issue of more immediate urgency than climate change. Two other guests who delivered welcoming speeches were Professor Martin Painter, Director of the Governance in Asia Research Centre, and Professor Lui Tai-lok, Chairperson of SynergyNet.

Taking into account the global trends of developing green energy and reducing the carbon footprint, the forum focused its discussions on two areas: “Going nuclear as the only way out? Cost and benefits” and “Promoting behaviour changes”.

The Government has suggested that Hong Kong should increase its nuclear energy supply over the long term. Professor Lu Jian, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, ascertained that nuclear power has an important role to play in the long-term energy supply in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong should strengthen research on nuclear risk reduction. Hong Kong should become an international centre for nuclear safety research,” Professor Lu said.

Mr Chan Siu-hung, Corporate Development Director of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, and Ms Gloria Chang Wan-ki, Campaign Manager of Green Peace, expressed views on nuclear development from the viewpoint of industry and environmental protection bodies, respectively. Dr Josie Close, Senior Research Fellow at CityU’s School of Energy and Environment, and Mr Edmund Leung Kwong-ho, Chairman of the Energy Advisory Committee, discussed the current status and future development of renewable energy in Hong Kong and the mainland.

In the panel discussion on promoting behaviour changes, Professor Lam Chiu-ying, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Geography and Resource Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Dr William Yu Yuen-ping, Head of the Climate Programme at WWF-HK, shared ideas on how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Ms Rachel Fleishman, Director of the Climate Change Business Forum of the Business Environment Council, discussed the issue from the view of the business sector and Professor Edward Ng Yan-yung, Professor of the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, explained how architecture can help mitigate the impact of climate change.


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