Every individual can and must play a part to protect the
environment for future generations, Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Donald Tsang said on
Speaking at the 2007 International Conference on Climate Change,
Tsang described global warming as one of the most important
challenges facing our planet.
"It is up to each and every one of us to make the right choices,
even if it means changing life-long habits when it comes to
consuming," he stressed.
He outlined several measures Hong Kong is taking to tackle the
problem, including encouraging the two local power companies to
switch to cleaner fuels by linking their permitted rates of return
to the achievement of emission reductions when their schemes of
control are renewed next year, setting a target of 1 percent to 2
percent of our total electricity supply to come from renewable
sources by 2012, and using methane gas at landfills as fuel.
The vast majority of Hong Kong citizens are willing
participants, he said, and it often requires only a gentle reminder
or a nudge in the right direction.
"Our Action Blue Sky Campaign does just that. To give one
example, it urges people to keep their air conditioners at 25.5
degrees centigrade during summer months, which is a simple act that
can save 1 billion units of electricity and reduce our greenhouse
gas emissions by 700,000 tons a year," he said.
"The government has also taken the lead by encouraging people to
dress more casually in the hotter summer months so that they might
not feel the need to twist the air conditioning knob a few degrees
cooler," he added.
Tsang stressed combating climate change will only be successful
if we all face up to our responsibilities, adding governments, big
business, non-governmental organizations and individual citizens
all have a significant role to play.
"Hong Kong prides itself on being a world city. We flourish on
international trade, and firmly believe that continued economic
growth can only be achieved if we protect the environment that
sustains us. Protecting against global warming must be a team
effort, spearheaded by the strongest and wealthiest nations,
protecting and guiding the most vulnerable regions, and above all
ensuring an environment for our future generations to enjoy and in
which they can continue to thrive," Tsang said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2007)