Clear The Air Energy Blog Rotating Header Image

WWF Hong Kong

How China has embraced renewable energy and Hong Kong hasn’t, and what’s behind city’s green power inertia

Summer 2016 saw record heat, and health problems from air pollution are rising, yet green energy projects have been shelved or denied funding; electricity firms lack incentives to go green, WWF says

Professor Johnny Chan Chun-leung is one of Hong Kong’s most eminent climate and energy scientists, and he is a very frustrated man. This month Beijing announced it would invest 2.5 trillion yuan (HK$2.8 trillion) in renewable energy technology by 2020 to establish the nation as world leader in sustainable and clean energy, and create 13 million jobs. Meanwhile, Chan and other respected scientists in Hong Kong are struggling to obtain financial support for their green energy projects.

Whereas China embraces wind, tide, solar and wave energy as essential tools to tackle climate change and its acute air pollution, attitudes in Hong Kong appear as fossilised as the fuel that provides 78 per cent of its energy needs.

Chan, chair professor of atmospheric science at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Energy and Environment, outlined details of an innovative tidal turbine project at a conference on renewable energy last week, organised by the city’s Business Environment Council. Chan’s team has developed a system that can generate electricity even in low tidal streams, typical of the seas around Hong Kong. Though it is early days, trials staged at the Gold Coast Marina in the city’s Tuen Mun district produced encouraging results.

He now needs funding to scale it up, with a view to offering the city a viable green energy alternative, but his application to the Environment and Conservation Fund for HK$2 million was rejected. “The ECF told me today that I ‘did not demonstrate the merits and contributions of the proposed study to environmental protection’,” he says. “How ridiculous.”

It is not an isolated incident. Others complain privately that Hong Kong funding bodies are “overly risk averse” and are rarely enthusiastic about funding green energy research and development.

“I believe more can be done to promote local funding for R&D for all renewable energy components,” says Dr Walid Daoud, a solar energy expert from City University and another speaker at the council’s conference. Many believe these difficulties are just one symptom of a wider malaise when it comes to supporting green energy in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong performs badly in overall carbon emissions and renewable energy,” says Cheung Chi-wah, senior head of climate and footprint programmes at environmental campaign group WWF-Hong Kong. He notes that the city’s emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming have been rising steadily and are 23 per cent above their level in 2002. That was the same year the Hong Kong government published its first study of renewable energy, compiled by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. The report estimated that 17 per cent of Hong Kong’s energy needs could be supplied by solar power alone.

It also made a key primary recommendation that the government should set targets for renewable energy’s contribution to demand of 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 3 per cent for 2012, 2017 and 2022, respectively. Nearly 15 years later, with electricity consumption rising about 5 per cent a year, the city recording record-breaking temperatures last summer, and health problems due to worsening air pollution growing, very little has been achieved. Instead of the proposed 2 per cent target for 2017, the latest data shows that the proportion of energy used in the city that is produced by renewable means is still less than 1 per cent – far from the 17 per cent potential – and the targets have not even been implemented.

Indeed, by 2012 only 2.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels, capable of meeting 0.01 per cent of Hong Kong’s energy needs, had been installed.

Hong Kong is also one of the few advanced cities in the world with no feed-in tariff scheme, or “net metering system”, in place. This means that, rather than small-scale green energy producers being paid for contributing any excess energy to the grid, they can only donate it.

Energy consultant Mike Thomas, of the Lantau Group, another speaker at the council’s event, thinks it is unhelpful to compare China and Hong Kong in terms of being “behind or ahead” because of the vast differences in the two economies’ scale, resources and political systems. He also believes Hong Kong is taking the right steps by implementing the government’s new fuel mix for energy supply by 2020, which consists of about 50 per cent natural gas, around 25 per cent nuclear power and more use of renewable energy sources. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel, but 30 per cent to 50 per cent cleaner than coal in terms of emissions.

“It is true that there is very little renewable energy, strictly speaking, but given the rabid debate about the use of green space for housing, I’m not sure that converting the hillsides to solar panels would appeal either,” he says. The issue of “low energy density” (the relatively high land area needed to produce 1 kilowatt of renewable electricity) is often cited by opponents of renewable energy in Hong Kong, which, including its 263 islands, has a land area of just 1,104 sq km.

Douad calculates the city would need to cover 20 per cent of its surface area with 10 per cent efficient solar panels to meet its energy needs, yet he remains a firm advocate of solar power.

“The 20 per cent is for the actual lateral 2D land use. However, we could also consider the vertical 3D of the urban landscape, using building walls as well as rooftops, sun-exposed roads and highways, sound barriers and water reservoirs,” he says.

While delegates at the council’s conference earnestly discuss the possibilities of using renewable energy locally, most leading cities have already embraced renewables and the smart grid – the use of digital technology to improve reliability, resiliency, flexibility, and efficiency – and have coherent policies in place to foster them.

Singapore is ramping up the use of solar panels through initiatives such as SolarNova, a government-led programme, and investing in green energy research via The Energy Research Institute. The city state is already seeing positive results. Figures for 2014 show that green energy sources contributed 3.7 per cent of total energy consumption (up from 2.4 per cent in 2005) and analysts expect that figure to top 5 per cent by 2020.

Hong Kong does have small-scale solar schemes designed for local consumption, and some government buildings generate solar power, but its approach to solar energy is piecemeal.

CLP Power, one of the city’s two electricity suppliers, commissioned its award-winning renewable energy power plant on Town Island in Sai Kung in January 2010, comprising wind turbines and solar panels, to supply the needs of the island’s drug rehabilitation centre, and says it has connected about 250 small-scale local schemes.

The other supplier, Hongkong Electric, says about 70 local use renewable systems have been connected to its grid over the past 10 years. It also operates a 1MW solar plant and the only wind turbine connected to Hong Kong’s power grid.

It might be imagined that geographical restrictions and a scarcity of available land would make harnessing offshore wind, wave and tidal power – as Chan proposes – more attractive, but there is little sign of progress on any of these. Detailed proposals from the electricity companies to build offshore wind farms were awarded environmental permits, but both schemes were shelved in 2013 and mysteriously disappeared from the local energy agenda.

“We are in the process of collecting wind, wave and other environmental data, along with a review of the engineering design, to complete the feasibility study,” a CLP spokesman says of its plan.

Hongkong Electric’s proposed wind farm in waters off Lamma Island was to supply 1.5 per cent of its total output. Asked about the proposal, a company spokesman says “field wind measurement has been going on since 2012”.

Cheung says no one in the industry understands why the company needs to collect five years of wind data. He suspects the real reason for offshore wind power being dropped is that the schemes of control both power companies have negotiated with the government, which regulate their profits on operations and investment, do not offer enough financial sweeteners for either company to proceed.

The current schemes of control are due to expire by end of 2018, and the government is negotiating terms with the companies to renew them. Cheung thinks it’s “a perfect time for the government to show its determination by introducing significant targets and incentives for energy consumption reduction and [renewable energy] development”.

One of the thorny issues that will need to be ironed out is tariffs. Hong Kong has some of the cheapest and most reliable power in the world (electricity costs about half what it does in New York). Although it is widely believed that greater use of green energy is essential, there is less agreement on who will pay for the higher prices or pick up the bill for integration of an intermittent power source to the grid.

While energy costs account for only 1.6 per cent of the average Hong Kong household’s budget, there is little commercial incentive for change and little political appetite for heaping extra costs on hard-pressed families.

There is more hope than expectation that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will use his final policy address to announce Hong Kong will follow Beijing’s lead and reveal a bold new policy for renewable energy with defined targets, a credible strategy to achieve them, and support for home-grown innovations such as Chan’s.
________________________________________
Source URL: http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/2062467/how-china-has-embraced-renewable-energy-and-hong-kong-hasnt-and-whats

Sign up for Earth Hour

earth-hourFrom the Earth Hour website:

SHOW THE WORLD WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF


You only have to look around our map to see that people all over the world are pledging their commitment. Join them now by signing up, and help to work towards a sustainable future. And remember to switch off your lights for Earth Hour, 27th March, 8.30pm.

Make sure to sign up before the deadline!

Earth Hour website

(more…)

A Sensible Government Would Say No To Expensive Wind Farm

SCMP – Updated on Jun 09, 2009

There has been a mixed reaction to CLP Power’s proposed erection of 67 wind turbines 135 metres high off Sai Kung.

Greenpeace said it regarded the project as a milestone for Hong Kong, though added it was a bit late compared to what has been achieved in China and Europe (“Cautious welcome for wind farm”, June 4). But the proposed scheme should be assessed on its merits and whether it can practically augment existing power supplies. Having wind turbines for the sake of establishing a milestone or success in other places can hardly be a sensible reason for their installation.

While WWF Hong Kong was concerned that the proposed wind farm would be in the flight path of migrating birds and adversely affect marine life, the Association for Geoconservation feared the wind farm would kill off the proposed geopark, because of its visual impact. Some aspects of this proposal are very clear.

The mega wind farm might cost as much as HK$2.8 billion and supply only 0.7 per cent of the city’s electricity needs. Under the proposed electricity market reform, investment in renewable energy would be rewarded with a permitted return of up to 11 per cent, according to a report in the South China Morning Post in 2006 (“Wind farm may blow more than it’s worth”). So, if the wind farm is allowed to go ahead, consumers will have to foot the bill for CLP Power’s capital expenditure and that will mean a necessary rise in the electricity tariff.

The power output from the farm – of less than 1 per cent of the city’s electricity demand – could be offset by electricity saved by simply switching off lights, appliances and equipment when not in use. This can be easily done at no cost and is environmentally most sensible. This consideration alone will surely render the proposed 200-megawatt wind farm absolutely superfluous to the city’s power requirements. Clearly, CLP Power’s proposed wind farm was never considered to benefit the city or our environment to begin with, other than the permitted return. A sensible government would certainly say no to this project.

Alex Tam, Sai Kung

Copyright (c) 2009 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All right reserved

Online Guide To Climate-friendly Goods Launched – New List Shows Appliances’ Footprints

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 02, 2009

A green group has called on electrical appliance manufacturers to provide more low-carbon-emission products for the global market, after the publication of the first local guide on climate-friendly goods.

The online guide, launched by WWF Hong Kong yesterday, lists 300 models of nine popular electrical appliances that have low carbon footprints, are made under more than 50 brands and are available on the local market.

It offers information on annual energy consumption, efficiency, carbon emissions and price references for climate-conscious shoppers.

There are also tips on the wise use of appliances.

The information was collated from data obtained from manufacturers and energy labelling schemes in Hong Kong, the United States and Europe.

“All those models in the guides are low carbon emission, but we won’t tell people how to choose as we have given them the tool to make their own choices,” said William Yu Yuen-ping, the head of WWF’s climate programme.

The appliances covered include air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps, refrigerators, televisions, water heaters, rice cookers, laptop computers, printers and game consoles.

Dr Yu said the first six types of appliance already accounted for 85 per cent of total household electricity consumption, which grew by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2005.

The guide would fill the gaps in Hong Kong’s energy efficiency labelling scheme, which has so far made labelling mandatory only on air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps and refrigerators.

Consumers using the guides are advised to decide what their priorities are because they might have to compromise.

For instance, the most climate-friendly model will often not be the cheapest, while the one which offers the highest energy efficiency will not necessarily be the one which consumes the least energy.

Dr Yu said it was time for individuals to act and exert their influence on the market.

“If there are demands from the public, manufacturers will be motivated to produce more low-carbon appliances.

“Let’s get started in our daily lives instead of just relying on the politicians to do something for us,” Dr Yu said, citing the Copenhagen climate conference to be held later this year.

Wat Hong-keung from the Hong Kong and Kowloon Electric Appliances Trader Federation welcomed the guide, but said consumer awareness about energy efficiency had improved in recent years.

“Many of them pay great attention to energy efficiency in case they have two choices of similar quality and price,” he said.

“But they are normally motivated by saving money rather than saving the world.”

The guide can be seen online at www.climateers.org.

Beijing Defends Energy Policy After Scathing Report

Agence France-Presse in Beijing | Updated on Oct 28, 2008

Beijing on Tuesday defended its energy policy a day after three influential green organisations criticised its dependence on coal.

“The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development and exploration of clean energy,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

“It has been making great efforts to increase the share of clean energy in the energy mix.”

A report commissioned by Greenpeace, the Energy Foundation and WWF on Monday said China’s dependency on coal was creating hidden environmental and other costs worth more than seven per cent of its annual gross domestic product.

The unaccounted costs equated to an estimated 1.7 trillion yuan (US$250 billion), and would be even higher if the impacts in terms of climate change were included, according to the report.

China depends on coal for about 70 per cent of its booming energy needs, which is one factor in its huge increase in greenhouse gas output in recent years.

Ms Jiang said China had implemented a range of policies to tackle the problem.

“We have reissued a renewable energy law and encouraged development of all sorts of renewable energies, including green energy, solar energy, water and hydro energy, thermal energy,” she said.

“We also attach importance to the clean use of coal, and we have done a lot to control the emission of pollutants produced in burning coal.”

Still, China ranks alongside the United States as one of the world’s two biggest emitters of the gases that are blamed for climate change.

Ms Jiang said China would continue to step up efforts to develop renewable energy.

True Cost Of Coal To Nation ‘Far Exceeds’ Market Price

Shi Jiangtao in Beijing – SCMP | Updated on Oct 28, 2008

The environmental and social costs of China’s reliance on coal as an energy source have been grossly underestimated, a joint study by environmentalists and economists says.

For each tonne of coal consumed last year, China paid 150 yuan (HK$170) extra in environmental damage, according to “The True Cost of Coal”.

The report, commissioned by Greenpeace, the US-based Energy Foundation and WWF, was written by prominent mainland economists.

The report estimated that the true cost of coal in China last year was about 1.75 trillion yuan, nearly 7.1 per cent of gross domestic product that year.

The figure would be even higher if the impact of climate change were included, according to the report.

“Environmental and social damages are underestimated for using coal in China, as a result of market failures and weakness in government regulations,” said Mao Yushi , lead author of the report and founder of the privately funded Unirule Institute of Economics. “China must count these external costs and make the coal price reflect its true costs.”

The so-called external costs were air and water pollution, ecological degradation, increasing health costs, mining accidents and infrastructure damage.

It also took into account the price distortion caused by government regulations, such as land-ownership policies and poor worker safety and compensation systems, which keep the cost of coal down. Coal accounts for 70 per cent of China’s primary energy consumption and is the biggest single source of air pollution across the country.

It causes 85 per cent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 67 per cent of nitrogen oxide emissions and 70 per cent of airborne particles. Mining has contaminated water, degraded land and caused massive land subsidence.

Coal is also responsible for China’s enormous carbon dioxide emissions, which are believed to have made the nation the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Quoting the report, Yang Fuqiang , chief representative of the mainland office of the Energy Foundation, urged Beijing to impose energy and environmental taxes.

His view was supported by Professor Mao, whose study showed that the introduction of a coal tax would raise prices by up to 23 per cent and reduce consumption by about 12 per cent.

“But the taxation measures would have little impact on China’s economic growth,” the report said. “On the contrary, it would make China more competitive globally in the long run and increase China’s social wealth by 942 billion yuan.

“The government of China has the opportunity to make a real improvement to the environment by reforming the current coal pricing system.

Yang Ailun , Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaign manager, said recognising the true cost of coal would create incentives to developing cleaner, sustainable energy.

Incandescent Light Bulbs May Be Banned

Cheung Chi-fai – SCMP – Updated on Oct 16, 2008

Funding carbon audits in buildings and a possible ban on incandescent light bulbs were among measures heralded by the chief executive to combat climate change and develop a low-carbon economy.

“We will enhance energy efficiency, use clean fuels, rely less on fossil fuel, and promote a low-carbon economy – an economy based on low energy consumption and low pollution,” Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said.

Up to HK$450 million will be reserved under the Environment and Conservation Fund to partially subsidise building owners to conduct energy and carbon audits for their public space and carry out related improvement works. The subsidy details would be later worked out by the fund.

The government will also consider following overseas practice in banning incandescent light bulbs and study the feasibility of controlling outdoor light pollution by law. The mandatory energy labelling scheme for electrical appliances will also be extended to cover washing machines and dehumidifiers.

District cooling will be adopted for the Kai Tak development that will cost HK$1.4 billion to build but bring about an annual energy saving of 85 million kilowatt-hours and a reduction of 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs manager Hahn Chu Hon-keung welcomed the measures but questioned where they would lead. “The lack of a timetable and energy saving targets means the government is not yet committed,” he said.

Greenpeace campaign manager Edward Chan Yue-fai said the government should ban incandescent bulbs immediately.

Meanwhile, WWF Hong Kong welcomed an earlier announced move to ban commercial fishing in marine parks. The green group’s director of conservation, Andy Cornish, described the ban as a “historic event” for marine conservation. But the group said more substantial gains could be achieved by designating the Soko Islands as marine parks.

Doubts Cloud Gas Deal

Sara Yin – Updated on Sep 28, 2008 – SCMP

The pink dolphins are safe, at least. The memorandum of understanding between Beijing and Hong Kong for gas supplies tied local energy needs and planning to those of the mainland. And although that meant the end of plans for a US$10 billion gas terminal on South Soko Island – which pleased environmentalists – it remains to be seen whether the deal is good for Hong Kong’s long-term interests.

Last month, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced an agreement that he had signed with the National Energy Administration, Beijing’s new energy body. It put a significant amount of Hong Kong’s gas needs into the hands of the mainland’s state-owned oil companies.

Under the memorandum, the central government ensures a supply from several sources: offshore natural-gas reserves, piped gas, and possibly an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal built on the mainland.

“Hong Kong will see a net increase of at least 1 billion cubic metres of natural-gas supply for clean power generation,” an Environment Bureau spokeswoman said. “This certainly provides for a higher stability and reliability of gas supply in the long run.”

The agreement halted the HK$10 billion plan – more than two years in the making – for local company CLP Power to build the terminal to supply LNG, a costlier but greener fuel, off Lantau Island.

Mr Tsang described the new deal as “extremely good news” for consumers and the environment. Instead of paying for an expensive LNG terminal on South Soko Island, he said, taxpayers would only have to pay for gas pipelines to the mainland.

Local green groups such as Friends of the Earth and WWF applauded the decision to abandon construction in an area populated by pink dolphins and finless tortoises. But many are concerned over what the government’s intervention means for the public.

“This memo is what I would call a potential game-changer,” said Civic Exchange chief executive Christine Loh Kung-wai. “It represents a major departure of Chinese energy policy for Hong Kong.”

Historically, Hong Kong’s two private power companies, CLP Power and Hongkong Electric, have negotiated the securing of raw materials on their own. Thanks to a scheme of control set in the early 1990s, the two utilities have been among the most profitable in the world. The government has tried to undermine this in the past by flirting with new market players. It had been considering a proposal from China Power, a mainland energy giant run by Li Xiaolin, the daughter of China’s former premier, Li Peng.

As well, a new scheme of control that reduces CLP Power’s profit margins begins next month.

“The government always seemed very supportive and positive about the terminal,” said a CLP Power employee. “We were all surprised” by the memorandum. Officially, CLP Power denies being blindsided and remains supportive.

Said Ms Loh: “The government did not let on that it was actively negotiating with the mainland … if [the government] has a new energy policy, it should make an announcement.”

While the memorandum of understanding might have come as a surprise to the public, CLP Power’s new terminal was not a done deal.

The Environment Bureau spokeswoman pointed to a Legislative Council paper dated June 30, available on Legco’s website, saying that due diligence on CLP Power’s plan was still continuing.

As early as 2003, CLP Power, which supplies 25 per cent of the city’s electricity, reported that its gas supply – Hainan Island’s Yacheng fields – would dry up by 2013. This prompted the company to propose building Hong Kong’s first LNG terminal to receive a sufficient amount from suppliers around the world. The facility would import more than 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year at a predetermined cost, and take at least four years to build.

After an exhaustive third-party study to assess the environmental impact of CLP Power’s proposed sites, the Environmental Protection Department chose South Soko Island and granted its approval early last year. Environmental Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah asked CLP Power to launch a public website detailing its planning efforts, and to find a way to reverse its environmental impact around the site; CLP complied.

The only approval needed then was the Executive Council’s, and even as late as July, Mr Yau seemed to think it was a foregone conclusion. With Hong Kong’s gas supply expected to run out in less than five years, he said the statutory planning process for the Soko Island terminal would start soon “although no final decision had been made”. CLP Power even had a contract with its first supplier, the British gas company BG Group.

In a statement in late June, CLP Power said: “The terminal is expected to start up no later than 2013, subject to final approval by the Hong Kong SAR government.”

Although some observers are applauding the opportunity for the city to be drawn into the mainland’s energy framework, others argue that the National Energy Administration’s policies may clash with Hong Kong’s interests. The mainland energy industry is heavily regulated, and a new, long-awaited law to commercialise the industry is yet to be enacted.

This month, a government source told the oil-industry magazine Platts: “The public consultation of the draft new energy law finished early this year, in late February, but the draft law is still held in the National Energy Administration, which was recently [created] to strengthen the government’s management of the energy sector.”

Industry observers are also wondering how the government’s deal will save consumers more money than CLP Power’s project.

“We don’t know anything about the price of the gas. At least with CLP, they would have entered a long-term contract with a known price … now it’s not clear what price the government has agreed to,” said Bill Barron, an environmental economist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

“The situation reminds me of the Disneyland thing, where we didn’t know how bad the deal was until years later.”

Baptist University’s director of energy studies, Larry Chow Chuen-ho, said the Soko Island terminal would have insulated Hong Kong from supply disruptions from the mainland.

Like Professor Barron, Professor Chow is concerned about the lack of discussion about price. At least with the Soko Island terminal, he said, “we can have complete control on how much to buy and how much to pay”.

Furthermore, the amount of gas supplied can only be estimated at this point. The memorandum does not define a specific volume of gas imported each year, only a non-legally binding assurance to keep Hong Kong’s level of gas supply “over and above the current level”.

Professor Chow said he trusted Beijing to provide a sufficient supply of gas, but Professor Barron was more sceptical. “Even if everything goes well – like the new wells at Yacheng actually produce gas – the supply won’t add up to the reliable supplies the Soko Island LNG terminal would have provided. We’ll be burning more coal and creating even higher levels of pollution.”

And although the memorandum renews existing contracts with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding for another 20 years, these two companies will have to tap new wells in Yacheng. And no one seems to know when these wells will run out (if any gas is found in the first place), according to Professor Barron.

In fact, based on the memorandum, both governments will devote resources to study the feasibility of building an LNG terminal in Guangdong.

But according to the Hong Kong government, fixing price and supply was not the point of the memorandum. It was only meant to provide “new opportunities for collaboration between energy enterprises on both sides, and is by no means a supply contract binding any companies”, said an Environmental Protection Department spokeswoman. “Detailed arrangements for supplying natural gas and electricity to Hong Kong, such as pricing and quantity, will be worked out on commercial principles … on both sides.”

Professor Barron found this point “disingenuous”. With only one country to supply Hong Kong’s gas, he wondered, “How can a power company negotiate price from a strong position? The government has seriously restricted the options faced by the buyer.”

After seeing its gas-terminal plan axed, CLP Power – publicly at least – supports the government’s deal with the mainland.

“CLP, under the guidance of the Hong Kong government, is now working directly with the National Development and Reform Commission and other mainland parties on the implementation of the memorandum,” a company spokeswoman said.

Regulate CO2 from Power Plants Now

Hong Kong green groups’ joint campaign

Filed under: Hong Kong Climate change — Jacqui Dixon @ 20:28 pm – CSR Asia

Six green groups in Hong Kong have been running a campaign over the last few weeks to encourage the Hong Kong government to incorporate carbon dioxide into the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, which limits air pollutants from the two local power companies CLP and HEC. The groups argue that “the government only regulates power plants’ so called ‘conventional’ air pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and continues to turn a blind eye to capping their CO2″.

Regulate CO2 from Power Plants Now!

Six Green Groups Urge You to Sign a Petition to the Government

Dear friends,

Climate change is accelerating! Hong Kong Observatory said our winter will disappear after 20 years. The government is amending the Air Pollution Control Ordinance to limit air pollutants from the two local power companies, CLP and HEC after 2010. Yet emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the major greenhouse gas (GHG) causing climate change, is not regulated at all. Six green groups now urge for your support to combat global warming by escalating the urgency for the government to restrict CO2 emissions from the power plants.

The two power companies are the biggest local sources of GHG emissions, accounting for 70% of the total CO2 released. They definitely contribute to climate change. However, the government only regulates power plants’ so called ‘conventional’ air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and continues to turn a blind eye to capping their CO2.

Send the following letter to the Chief Executive and the Secretary of Environment Bureau today. Request for CO2 emission caps for power plants in the Air Pollution Control Ordinance. Let’s stop allowing the power companies to cook the climate!

Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong), Greenpeace, Greensense, Greeners Action, WWF Hong Kong, Clear The Air

http://write-a-letter.greenpeace.org/407

Green Groups Push For CO2 Caps in Scheme of Control

Nishika Patel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Six green groups have accused the government of not doing enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions, saying the new scheme of control will not force power companies into line.

Staging a protest at the Environment Bureau yesterday, members of the alliance urged authorities to cap carbon dioxide emissions for power plants and deduct their profits if the targets are not met.

Greenpeace said CLP Power and Hong Kong Electric are responsible for emitting 70 percent of carbon dioxide in the SAR and are the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions

The groups are angry that the government only regulates emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates, but not the chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide .

“While countries around the world are actively fighting global warming, the SAR government simply allows carbon dioxide emissions to damage the climate without regulation. The government should not shirk its responsibility,” Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Frances Yeung Hoi-shan said.

The alliance also wants a new scheme of control to set targets to reduce energy consumption and sanctions imposed if the power firms fail to meet the targets.

“Energy saving is the most cost- effective means to control greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. However, the government has suggested offering incentives to power plants to improve energy saving and demand-side management which, however, are not compulsory and only serve as foil,” Yeung said.

The groups included Friends of the Earth, Greeners Action, Green Sense, WWF Hong Kong and Clear the Air, along with Carbon Dioxide Foundlings.