Published: 10:13, January 13, 2022 | Updated: 10:16, January 13, 2022
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HK's Lam pledges close cooperation with cities
By ​Kathy Zhang in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor vowed the special administrative region will work with other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to meet national carbon neutrality goals as the world confronts climate change and global warming.

"Hong Kong hopes to strengthen communication and cooperation with other cities in the Greater Bay Area in building low-carbon communities, developing carbon reduction technologies and personnel training in order to jointly contribute to the country's carbon neutrality target," Lam said.

Hong Kong's top official made her remarks on Wednesday at the GBA Development Forum (Guangzhou) & Vision China. The event, which was organized by China Daily and the information office of the Guangzhou municipal government, invited around 20 officials and experts from different backgrounds from the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao SARs to share their insights on sustainable development in the GBA. Addressing the forum by video, Lam said that promoting ecological civilization is one of the major tasks underlined in the GBA's blueprint.

The Central government earlier announced that it will make every effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, while the Hong Kong SAR government set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050.

To that end, the city will press ahead with local and cross-border cooperation to help the GBA go green and the country become eco-friendly. In addition, Hong Kong hopes to take advantage of its status as a global financial center to boost the development of its green bond market, Lam noted.

In October, the Shenzhen government issued bonds worth 5 billion yuan ($785.5 million), including select green bonds, in Hong Kong. It was the first time that a mainland municipal government had issued bonds outside the mainland market.

Lam said she's looking forward to seeing more cross-border cooperation in terms of green finance and economic development.

"We will actively explore cooperation with different provincial and municipal governments on the Chinese mainland in issuing green bonds and other green finance-related business opportunities," she added.

Looking back on the past few years, Lam said that the GBA has already achieved a great deal, having established cross-border infrastructure, policies and exchanges and improved communication between public and private sectors since Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao signed a framework agreement on deepening cooperation in July 2017.

Lam revealed that Hong Kong is working closely with Shenzhen to further optimize cross-border land transportation and facilities in a bid to build a "one-hour living circle" in the GBA.

The two cities have also established a task force on cross-boundary railway infrastructure to plan for the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Express Railway.

Lam also said she hopes Guangdong and the SARs develop deeper ties through other activities, including the 15th National Games the three will co-host in 2025.