Hong Kong announced Thursday that, as a region of China, it would adopt the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said that the Central People's Government of China had extended the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to Hong Kong after consulting the HKSAR government in accordance with Basic Law Article 153.
"The UNFCCC is applicable to Hong Kong with effect from May 5, 2003 while the Kyoto Protocol will be applicable to Hong Kong as and when it comes into operation," a spokesman for Hong Kong Environment, Transport and Works Bureau was quoted as saying by a Hong Kong government press release on Thursday.
"The application of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to HKSAR renews our firm commitment to make our share of contribution to mitigate the global warming problem," said the spokesman.
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Hong Kong has been reduced from the historical height of 22 percent above 1990 level in 1993 to around the 1990 level in recent years. Hong Kong is only a small emitter of GHG on the global scale, contributing to only 0.18 percent of the global emissions in 2000. Hong Kong's GHG emission per capita is much lower than the levels of other high-income economies.
"The achievement is the fruit of our programs on the use of cleaner fuels for transport and power generation, energy efficiency and afforestation. We will nevertheless do all we can to further reduce GHG emissions as far as possible. We will step up our ongoing efforts, in particular, in promoting renewable energy and cleaner fuels for power generation and transport," the spokesman said.
The UNFCCC, adopted in 1992, and its Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, seek to reduce global emissions of GHG. Up to date, the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol have been ratified by 188 and 109 countries (regions), including China, respectively. The Kyoto Protocol has not yet come into operation.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2003)