Climate change adaptationAs a reaction to experiences with storm surges, Hong Kong adopted stringent design standards for coastal infrastructures: land reclamation is always raised to cater for sea level rise. Hazardous weather warning systems and forecasting service are in place to serve the general public. Physical models and computational models are widely applied for the design of bridges, coastal infrastructures and drainage.
Hong Kong furthermore tries to reduce its water import dependency by reducing water demand. Public education campaigns focusing on water conservation have been launched, targeting in particular water saving devices and a Water Efficiency Labeling Scheme. Publicity and public education programmes will be stepped up over the coming year, targeting in particular the younger generation.
In 2008, the Environmental Protection Department commissioned an over-arching study to assess the impact of climate change on Hong Kong. The study provides a solid scientific basis to formulate long-term strategies and measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation. It also provides useful information for preparing a submission to the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China for meeting the national obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The study identifies eight key areas in Hong Kong which are vulnerable to climate change impacts, and recommends five categories of adaptation options for implementation. The study was concluded in early December 2010.
The Government conducted a public consultation on Hong Kong’s climate change strategy and action agenda between September to December 2010. The consultation document proposes a voluntary carbon intensity reduction target of 50% to 60% by 2020 as compared with 2005 level, and puts forward a set of proposals to achieve the target by maximising energy efficiency; greening road transport; promoting use of clean fuels for motor vehicles; turning waste to energy; and revamping fuel mix for electricity generation. The public responses are in support of implementing measures to combat climate change, and grasping opportunities to develop a low carbon economy.