【Press Release】 How "Green" is LegCo - Candidate's Stance on Environmental Affairs
(Hong Kong, 16 December 2021) The election for the 7th Legislative Council of Hong Kong will commence on 19 December 2021. 153 candidates are contesting 90 seats across the geographical, functional, and Election Committee constituencies.
Friends of the Earth (HK) "How "Green” is LegCo?” campaign is divided into two phases. The first phase was completed at the end of last year, consolidating all of the legislative council meeting reports on environmental-related affairs, the voting record of members and the attendance record on environmental motions in 2016-2020. The second phase is to canvass candidates for the new legislative council on their stance on environmental protection and sustainable development via survey.
Friends of the Earth (HK) surveyed 143 candidates (ten candidates did not have an email address on the dedicated 2021 Legislative Council General Election website) via email to better understand their stance on climate change, low-carbon transport, circular economy, and green finance. Only 16 candidates responded to the survey, namely Wong Sing Chi, Lau Cheuk Yu, Chan Chun Hung, Poon Chuk Hung Jason, Wong Wing Ho Allan, Zhang Xinyu, Lam Wing Sze, Chen Xiaofeng, Allan Zeman, Chan Siu Hung, Ma Fung Kwok, Yiu Pak Leung, Tse Wai Chuen Tony, Wong Wang Tai, So Wai Leung William, and Shum Ho Kit. The overall response rate was 11.19%. Friends of the Earth (HK) is disappointed by the indifference shown by most legislative candidates towards environmental protection.
Majority agree to phase out fossil fuels
On climate change, 15 of 16 respondents agree that the government should set a timetable to phase out fossil fuels. 15 and 14 candidates respectively support importing renewable energy from the mainland and setting up a stable green hydrogen supply chain with neighbouring countries. Friends of the Earth (HK) urges the government to actively develop local wind and solar energy and to strengthen regional cooperation on renewable energy for increasing the supply of low-carbon energy via dedicated lines.
Eleven candidates support carbon pricing
The concept of carbon pricing is to internalise the cost of climate change into economic consideration. 11 respondents support pricing carbon, with the remaining five expressing no strong opinion. A report from the World Bank found 45 countries and 34 subnational jurisdictions have implemented carbon pricing with marked carbon reductions to show. Hong Kong must price carbon in the long run, such that companies will embrace a low-carbon transition or bear the environmental cost of climate change.
Fourteen approve of producer responsibility and landfill bans
On waste management, 14 respondents support expanding the coverage of producer responsibility and to implement a landfill ban on recyclable and biodegradable items. Friends of the Earth (HK) asks the government to implement policies across the waste hierarchy and to promote and develop a circular economy.
Full backing for electrifying public transport and commercial vehicles
On air quality, all respondents support speeding up the electrification roadmap for public transport and commercial vehicles and exploring hydrogen vehicle development actively. 14 of them support integrating pedestrianisation and cycling into urban planning. Friends of the Earth (HK) urges the government to promote green and low-carbon travel modes comprehensively, by accelerating the electrification of commercial vehicles and public transportation and formulating pedestrian and cycle-friendly policies and infrastructure.
Most support the development of a green insurance industry
On green finance, 15 respondents agree with promoting green insurance development to reduce green credit operational risks and broaden financing channels for green industries. Friends of the Earth (HK) recommends the government to devote more resources into training green finance talents and transform Hong Kong into a green finance hub. Companies must also seize the opportunity to integrate ESG into decision-making and promote sustainable business development.
With Hong Kong facing crises in climate change, air pollution, and waste, Friends of the Earth (HK) is disappointed over the apathy of legislative candidates towards the environment. We hope the new legislative council will be accountable to the citizens and protect the environment of Hong Kong.
We encourage citizens to vote for the environment and elect candidates who are committed to driving carbon neutrality, improving our air quality, promoting circular economy and green finance, and assisting Hong Kong in its low-carbon transition.
Appendix I – Feedback from Survey
Appendix II – Individual Responses
Reference: Strongly Support(1), Support(2), Neutral(3), Oppose(4), Strongly Oppose(5)
Comments (In Chinese Only)
|WONG Sing Chi
|CHAN Chun Hung
|POON Chuk Hung, Jason
|WONG Wing Ho, Allan
|TSE Wai Chuen, Tony
Appendix III – How "Green" is LegCo? Phase One
During the first phase of the campaign last year, Friends of the Earth (HK) consolidated all of the legislative council meeting reports on environmental-related affairs, the voting record of members and the attendance record on environmental motions in 2016-2020.
Among the current candidates, 32 were members of the 6th Legislative Council. Below are their personal performance on environmental affairs in the previous session.
*President of the 6th Legislative Council