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【Press Release】Friends of the Earth (HK) Comment on the Scheme of Control Agreements Discussion with the Two Power Companies | Renewable Energy Development to Fight Climate Change




Friends of the Earth (HK) Comment on the
Scheme of Control Agreements Discussion with the Two Power Companies

Renewable Energy Development to Fight Climate Change

(Hong Kong, 28 November 2023) The Legislative Council’s Panel on Environmental Affairs discussed the Scheme of Control Agreements with the two power companies today. The energy crisis in recent years has led to a surge in fossil fuel prices globally; the two power companies have opted to completely pass on the impact onto consumers. At the same time, global temperature records have been broken repeatedly this year, as heat waves swept across the world. 2023 is likely to become the hottestyearonrecord. A study published yesterday by a team from CUHK, HKU, and HKUST has projected that extreme weather events in Hong Kong will become increasingly severe, with highest hourly rainfall to reach 230 mm in 2040s, 40% greater than the recent ‘once-in-500-years’ rainstorm.

Friends of the Earth (HK) stresses that electricity generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emission in Hong Kong. There is a pressing need to substantially decarbonise the power sector, increase the proportion of renewable energy in the fuel mix, and proactively respond to climate change.

To further promote a green, low-carbon transition, Friends of the Earth (HK) makes the following recommendations:

1.The two power companies should fulfil their social responsibility and bear the risk of volatile fossil fuel prices, alleviating the burden on citizens and prompting long-term development of renewable energy;

2.The two power companies should cooperate with the government to strengthen the interconnection of the local power grids and promote the connection with the mainland, reducing reserve margins and facilitating renewable energy integration;

3.The government should liberalise the energy market to introduce new technology and renewable utilities into the market, promoting the long-term development of renewable energy;

4.The government should implement time-of-use tariff and more progressive pricing, encouraging more sustainable habits and energy saving practices;

5.Given that 90% of Hong Kong’s electricity is currently used in buildings, the power companies should fund and subsidise green building and energy efficiency measures, reducing overall building energy consumption.

Humanity is already bearing a heavy price for climate inaction. The latest Emissions Gap Report by the UN Environment Programme projected that, even if countries fulfil their current climate commitments, global temperatures will rise by 2.5-2.9°C, well above the 1.5°C and 2°C thresholds set by the Paris Agreement. The government must expedite the long-term renewable energy development in the interim review of the Scheme of Control Agreements and strive to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.


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