Policy Address

Striving towards Carbon Neutrality

125. Over the last decade, the Government has allocated over $47 billion to implement various energy saving and renewable energy measures, promote electric vehicles and vessels, and introduce innovative waste-to-energy and waste-to-resources facilities to help reduce waste and carbon emissions. In their last and current development plans spanning ten years, the investment of the two power companies in major decarbonisation projects amounts to some $39 billion. As set out in the “Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+”, we are moving towards the 2030 target of reducing carbon intensity by 65% to 70% as compared with that in the baseline year of 2005. In fact, Hong Kong’s carbon emissions reached its peak in 2014, at a per capita carbon emission of 6.2 tonnes. It was reduced to 5.4 tonnes in 2018, which is about 36% lower than that in the baseline year of 2005. The community in general expects Hong Kong to go further in deep decarbonisation.

126. Combating climate change is an important issue across the globe. In his speech delivered to the United Nations earlier on, President Xi Jinping made it clear that China would endeavour to achieve the peak of carbon emissions in 2030 and carbon-neutrality before 2060. This is an important commitment made by our country in combating climate change and is well-received by governments and international environmental groups around the world. In Hong Kong, the Council for Sustainable Development just submitted a report to the HKSAR Government on long-term decarbonisation strategy. I now announce that the HKSAR will strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. To this end, the Government will update the “Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan” in the middle of next year to set out more proactive strategies and measures to reduce carbon emissions.

127. We will examine various means to reduce carbon emissions, which include exploring different types of zero-carbon energy and decarbonisation technology, enhancing the energy efficiency of both new and existing buildings, promoting zero-carbon vehicles and green transportation, and building large-scale waste-to-energy facilities. To lower the cost of achieving carbon-neutrality, we need to reduce the demand for energy through ways such as introducing more stringent energy efficiency standards. We also need to enlist the full support of various sectors in society to adopt low-carbon lifestyles and economic transformation. We will develop green finance to boost investments conducive to reducing carbon emissions, build a low-carbon economy which is more resilient to climate change, and enhance public education and publicity. I cordially invite all sectors to work together to promote low-carbon transformation in Hong Kong in a bid to strive towards the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.