HK$240 billion pledge to fight climate change

Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing on Friday set out the government’s new climate action plan with a pledge to spend HK$240 billion over two decades to combat climate change.

Wong said the money will go towards developing green transport, energy-saving systems and waste-to-energy infrastructures, among other things.

A new office will be set up to co-ordinate actions to promote de-carbonisation.

The environment minister said the administration aims to rely on zero-carbon and renewable energy – such as wind and solar power – to generate up to 80 percent of electricity the city needs in 2035, so Hong Kong can stop using coal by then.

Hong Kong aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Tse Chin-wan, the under-secretary for environment, said officials may consider increasing the use of nuclear power as well, but that it won’t be a priority.

He said it is challenging to achieve the climate action plan, but it’s something Hong Kong must accomplish.

“If you consider the possible implications of climate change – I think we can feel that today, and if you look back on Typhoon Mangkhut, etc – that is something we have to [do]. We must reduce our carbon [emission] to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible,” he said.

He added the city also plans to introduce hydrogen-fuelled buses within three years, to help achieve zero transport emission by 2050.