The United Nations has released the major climate change report, hailed as the “red alert for human survival.” The report notes that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate in an unprecedented and irreversible manner.
A historic report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that severe heat waves, droughts and floods over the next decade will be increased and push the threshold of temperature rising. The world must act now to avert this disaster by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping rising temperatures stable.
Greater Bay Area’s competitive edge to facilitate the Country’s dual carbon reduction targets under climate change and meet international commitments
The increasingly severe climate situation is a global issue facing by all countries around the world. Since the goal of “achieving carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060″ has been established by our Country, industries across the country have taken proactive action. The Hksar Government has also set out the goal of achieving “carbon neutrality” by 2050 in the Policy Address of 2021 and published the Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 in October of the same year with aggressive carbon reduction strategies and measures, aiming at halving Hong Kong’s carbon emissions based on the 2005 levels by 2035.
In the context of carbon peak and carbon-neutral of the “dual carbon” targets, the “30,60” targets are not only a challenge but an opportunity for the green transformation of the Greater Bay Area. In the beginning of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, guiding economic structure, energy use and clean energy development under the carbon neutrality target will be the key tasks, and carbon peak is a vital element in the working framework. At the end of 2020, the “Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035” made it clear that reducing carbon intensity, supporting qualified places to take the lead in reaching the carbon emissions peak, and formulating a plan of action to achieve carbon emissions by 2030.
Committed to promoting green carbon neutrality and industry transformation in the Greater Bay Area
The green transformation of industries and products will be a new opportunity for the development in the Greater Bay Area. “Low levels of carbon emissions” implies that industrial carbon emissions in the Country or regions would not grow continually, with a peak or declining demand. If industry can still maintain a sustainable growth or even a rapid growth under the condition of industrial carbon emissions restriction or carbon emissions reduction limit, it will evolve into a higher industrial growth. In the automobile industry, for the adoption of new energy vehicles, in terms of China’s green transformation costs, the market for green innovative products and promotion is large, with advantages on cost, demand and technology.
Fully utilize the expertise of Greater Bay Area to promote the development of green technology
Carbon neutrality not only affects the energy and industrial structures, but also the sustainability level of the supply chain. Green technology nowadays is much different, representing high technology content and productivity with less or zero emissions. Compared with traditional enterprises, green technology with clean energy resources can even fully utilize the professionalism and technical and scientific research resources of Greater Bay Area, promoting green living and the development and innovation of the city.
Proactively develop green finance and carbon trading market in Greater Bay Area
Achieving carbon neutrality is a challenging goal, and Hong Kong is the green financial center of Greater Bay Area. To achieve the commitments of reducing carbon emissions, significant changes will be required in energy structure, infrastructure and even industrial chain models, as well as huge investments in energy and green technologies. As an international financial center, Hong Kong plays an active role in leading market funds to support public and private sector investing into green and low-emission activities, facilitating the global zero-emissions process and promoting the development of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong. By supporting the green project investment and certification in the Country and Greater Bay Area, we are in line with the Country’s goals towards the strategic transition to a green economy.
Significantly develop the use of low-carbon technology in green buildings
Hong Kong is one of the world’s 30 megacity cities in Greater Bay Area, with nearly 70% of its carbon emissions coming from electricity generation, while building-related activities account for up to 90% of Hong Kong’s total electricity consumption. The policy address in 2019 set the government-wide “green energy target” for the first time, increasing the energy performance of government buildings and infrastructure by 6% during 2024 to 2025. To achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, Hong Kong is actively promoting low-carbon transformation, including green buildings.
Nurture professionals of green finance and scientific research in the context of “dual carbon” targets
According to a study by the Financial Services Development Council in August 2021, professionals in the sustainable development and digital economy shall be enhanced with ESG training and green finance concepts to foster the development and application of innovative technologies. Hong Kong supports the scientific research and carbon reduction works of various local organizations and industries with the advantages of the international financial center and the talents of scientific research, and shall promote the relevant training in Greater Bay Area with both hard and soft skills, so as to fulfill the Country’s commitments on carbon neutrality.
Carbon neutralization is the only option to promote the systematic change of economy and society in line with the trend of global ecological management change. It is the main direction of promoting economic development and ecological environment conservation, and the inevitable requirement of fulfilling people’s yearning for a better life. Proceeding from the strategic goal of sustainable development, we should promote the separation of economic and social development from high consumption and high emission, and accelerate the overall green transformation of economic and social development. With a proactive attitude, GBACNA hopes to take the lead in promoting the development of carbon neutrality-related initiatives in Greater Bay Area and contributes to serving the whole China, the country’s climate change commitments and the world.