How Hong Kong can lead Asia on climate change through innovation
As the Hong Kong government announces initiatives to make the city more liveable, climate models cited by the Observatory predict “above-normal” temperatures for southern China this autumn.
Supported by Hong Kong’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, all sectors, businesses and levels of society are feeling the heat to act now against climate change.
Although I am writing from the United Kingdom, far from Hong Kong and on a different continent, we live under one world climate. If we do not transition to renewable energy sources and reach net-zero targets, summers will continue to get hotter, weather more erratic and energy bills higher.
As the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report made clear, if we do nothing, the consequences will be unfathomably costly – for humanity, for our environment and for economies.
In previous years, many people saw being sustainable as requiring major sacrifices – making hefty investments in new processes and technologies for little economic gain.
This is now demonstrably not the case. Great innovation is under way with accessible, inspiring and ingenious ideas being commercialised every day across the world, including in Hong Kong and the UK.
The UK, for example, is home to the world’s first fleet of hydrogen-powered buses, the world’s largest offshore wind farm and Europe’s first mass-production battery factory for electric vehicles.
MacRebur recycles plastics to make road surfaces. Notpla has made food and drinks packaging disappear, and Belu’s filtration technology reduces the sale of bottled water by making tap water safer and more palatable.
To support these inventions, there is a thriving research and development ecosystem backed by billions of pounds of investment from public and private finance. This is facilitated through the issuance of sovereign green bonds and the London Stock Exchange’s range of green investment lines.
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