Hong Kong lawmaker to ask government if it is prepared to declare a climate emergency

Hong Kong lawmaker to ask government if it is prepared to declare a climate emergency

In the wake of Sunday's climate march, Legco member Chu Hoi-dick will ask the Environment Secretary how far the city will go to address climate change


Lawmaker Chu is vocal in his support for environmental matters.
Photo: SCMP/Winson Wong

Legco member Chu Hoi-dick is to ask the Hong Kong government tomorrow whether it is prepared to declare a climate emergency, following in the footsteps of the British parliament, which did this on May 2.

He has submitted a question for the Secretary for the Environment to give oral replies at tomorrow's 11am Council meeting. 

Following the huge protests in the British capital led by the protest movement Extinction Rebellion, and the regular school strikes inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, Hongkongers have also been asking the city's government to act. The School Students for Climate Action group submitted a letter to the Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing after their first march on March 15, and were unimpressed by his response, which they did not feel was ambitious enough. Tomorrow, Chu will ask three questions: 

1. whether it will pledge to the public that it will devote all its efforts to satisfying the three demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement; if so, of the transformative changes to be made in respect of its policies for addressing climate change; if not, the reasons for that;

2. given that the Parliament and dozens of local councils of cities and towns in UK have declared a climate emergency, whether the Hong Kong Government will make such declaration; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

3. whether it will study what transformative changes to the policies on protecting biodiversity are needed in Hong Kong; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

In his April 23 response to the local student group, Wong said the Hong Kong Climate Action Plan 2030+, released in 2017, has a target of reducing Hong Kong’s carbon intensity by 65-70 per cent between 2005 and 2030, equivalent to an absolute reduction of 26-36 per cent. Per capita emissions will be reduced from 5.7 tonnes in 2016 to 3.3-3.8 tonnes by 2030. 

Student protesters said this is not a big enough reduction, or sufficiently urgent goal.

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