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Transcript
Climate Change Corner
Hong Kong needs Energy Policy
Given that all life on earth depends in some way upon energy, it is beyond dispute that energy is a
commodity of national importance. There are seven billion people on earth who use energy each day
to make their lives richer, more productive, safer and healthier. Energy is vital for the effective
operations of our society and a driving force for quality human development and economic
prosperity. Even with advances in efficiency, rising populations and expanding economies will
produce a net increase in global energy demand for many years to come.
There are sufficient scientific evidences that the huge amount of CO2 released from explosive
consumption of fossil fuels to produce energy is responsible for climate change which not only
damages our infrastructures, natural environment and eco-system, but threatens the survival of
humans. Never before have such challenges become so important worldwide, and they are in fact on
the top agenda of every country. The critical question is how enough energy can be produced to
sustain economic growth, but at the same time, effects on the environment in the production and use
of energy can be minimized.
Hong Kong is a metropolitan city and service-oriented economy. With the scarcity of flat land within
a territory of 1,104 m2 accommodating a high and population of 7.1 million, energy security is
essential to create a quality habitable environment inside the high-rise commercial and residential
buildings where most economic and social activities are conducted. But, Hong Kong has to import
all fuels to meet its energy requirement. It is important that Hong Kong needs a comprehensive and
coherent energy policy.
The growing complexity and strategic importance of energy policy demands a “whole of
government” approach to come up with objectives, strategies and action plans to meet the needs of
human activities, the aspirations of community and Hong Kong’s commitments as a responsible
global citizen. The Administration should study a wide range of energy issues, covering energy
conservation and efficiency, competitive energy market, diversity energy supplies, investment in
energy R&D and international cooperation. The outcomes are to enhance energy security, promote
enduring economic growth and tackle anthropogenic climate change.
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This article is contributed by Ir Dr C W Tso, Past Chairman, HKIE Environmental Division,
Adjunct Professor, School of Energy & Environment, City University
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