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Published: 23:49, November 30, 2023 | Updated: 09:49, December 01, 2023
Hong Kong’s proactive stance on climate change is beacon of hope at COP28
By Ken Ip
Published:23:49, November 30, 2023 Updated:09:49, December 01, 2023 By Ken Ip

In a world grappling with the existential threat of climate change, the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), which opened on Thursday in Dubai, presents a crucial juncture for global leaders to forge a path toward a sustainable future. Against this backdrop, Hong Kong, represented by a delegation led by Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan, is gearing up to make a significant impact at COP28, showcasing its commitment to combating climate change and driving innovation in green technology.

Hong Kong’s pivotal role in addressing climate change is underscored by the proactive stance taken by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTP). In June, HKSTP unveiled its visionary “Net Zero Emissions by 2045” initiative, setting a bold precedent by committing to achieving the Science-Based Targets initiative’s net-zero emissions standards five years ahead of Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050.

As part of an ambitious showcase on the international stage, seven forward-thinking companies from the HKSTP are set to participate in COP28. These companies bring not only innovative solutions but a vision for a sustainable future. Among them, Archireef brings a novel approach to marine conservation with its 3D coral reef printing technology. Other participants include i2Cool, a pioneer in electricity-free cooling technology, and M Concept Studio, introducing the highly efficient and eco-friendly Flatcool Technology.

Neuron Digital Group brings its expertise to the table, utilizing smart platforms to analyze data and optimize building energy efficiency. Halo Energy, a trailblazer in electric vehicle charging solutions, joins the lineup alongside InnoBlock, the creators of the carbon management platform TT Green. Synap Technologies adds to the roster, focusing on waste-to-energy solutions, furthering the cause of carbon reduction.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, the global focus on sustainable development has heightened. The demand for green technology is on the rise, and Hong Kong, as the standard bearer of innovation in the region, aims to meet this demand. Through its participation in COP28, HKSTP not only reaffirms its commitment to sustainable development within the local innovation ecosystem but also positions itself as a catalyst for global change.

Hong Kong’s delegation, armed with innovative solutions from its Science Park, stands as a beacon of hope in this critical global endeavor. As the world converges in Dubai, let Hong Kong’s commitment to green technology and sustainability echo as a resounding call to action for a planet in peril

The return of Hong Kong to the COP summit after a prolonged absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed an excellent opportunity, as noted by Climate Change Commissioner Wong Chuen-fai. He emphasizes that Hong Kong’s participation serves two key purposes: understanding the latest global developments in climate action and showcasing Hong Kong’s contributions to the cause. This includes efforts such as green finance initiatives, positioning the city as a key player in the international drive for sustainability.

In a world grappling with extreme weather events and the adverse impacts of climate change, the urgency of collective action cannot be overstated. The Lancet Countdown report on climate change and health, authored by leading experts, paints a stark picture of the health crises linked to climate change. From heat waves to air pollution, the toll on human health is evident, and the upcoming COP28 presents an opportunity to address these challenges head-on.

The report underscores that the adverse effects of climate change are not distributed evenly, with vulnerable regions bearing the brunt of health risks. It calls for urgent and concrete measures across five priority areas, emphasizing the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. The report advocates for a just energy transition, adaptation efforts, and a focus on public health measures to reduce air pollution and promote healthier lifestyles.

COP28 is not just a platform for policy discussions; it’s a test of world leaders’ commitment to tackle the climate crisis. The focus on health, as highlighted in the Lancet Countdown report, could catalyze a paradigm shift away from fossil fuels and toward a sustainable future. Hong Kong’s delegation, armed with innovative solutions from its Science Park, stands as a beacon of hope in this critical global endeavor. As the world converges in Dubai, let Hong Kong’s commitment to green technology and sustainability echo as a resounding call to action for a planet in peril.

The author is chairman of the Asia MarTech Society and sits on the advisory boards of several professional organizations, including two universities.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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