【Press Release】Friends of the Earth (HK) Response to the 2023-24 Budget
the Earth (HK)
Response to the 2023-24 Budget
Don’t miss sustainable development in
push for economic recovery
(Hong Kong, Feb 22, 2023)The Financial Secretary announced the 2023-24 Budget today. Friends of the
Earth (HK) is pleased to hear about the announcement of a "Green Technology
and Finance Development Committee” to promote Hong Kong as an international
green technology and finance centre; an injection of $200 million to fund
trials of hydrogen fuel cell electric double-deck buses and heavy vehicles; and
a 100% guarantee loan scheme to replace taxis with battery electric taxis.
Although the government talks big in promoting Hong Kong as a
competitive, liveable city, Friends of the Earth (HK) is disappointed by
the continued sluggish pace in promoting sustainable development.
Friends of the Earth (HK)urges the government to put money where its mouth is to help Hong Kong
transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy by:
1.Renewable energy: Hong Kong needs to wean off fossil fuels if it intends to reach net
zero by 2050. The government must both invest in the development of local
renewable energy infrastructure and strengthen regional cooperation to import
2.Demand side energy efficiency: Around 30% of electricity generated in Hong
Kong goes towards air conditioning. The government should subsidise families to
switch to more energy-efficient appliances and building owners to retrofit to
reduce energy use.
3.Storm and flood resilience: Hong Kong is vulnerable to many weather-related threats that are
exacerbated by climate change. The government must enhance the city’s ability
to adapt to and withstand against coastal flooding and storm surges.
4.Carbon pricing: Since 2022, 68 jurisdictions, including China, now have explicit carbon
pricing mechanisms in some form. The government must align with the world and
implement carbon pricing to reflect producer responsibility on carbon emission.
5.Electronic road pricing and more: Electric and new energy vehicles indirectly
create roadside air pollution by contributing to traffic congestion. The
government needs to tackle traffic congestion and curb the number of private
cars on road by implementing electronic road pricing, increasing registration
tax and licence fees, and introducing a vehicle quota system.
6.Green public transport and commercial vehicles: Many international cities have
committed to more ambitious targets, pledging for major areas to be fossil
fuel-free by 2030. The government must fast-track the greening of public and
commercial transport to reduce carbon emission and tackle roadside air
7.A pedestrian and cycling-friendly city: Walking and cycling are healthy, low-carbon
modes of transport. The government must devote more resources into designing
Hong Kong into a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly city to encourage more
sustainable modes of travel.
8.Circular economy: Hong Kong’s per capita waste disposal rates returned to the highest
level. The government must support the sustainable development of the recycling
industry through land provision and upgrading recycling operations.
9.Producer responsibility: Plastics however just make up for one part of the some-11 thousand
tonnes of waste entering landfills every day. The government must expand the
scope of producer responsibility to cover more products and encourage
manufacturers and suppliers to develop more sustainable products.
10.Urban forestry: Urban vegetation are often taken for granted and overlooked despite the
vast number of benefits they bring to cities. The government must invest in
enhancing urban forests and trees for Hong Kong to promote greater liveability.
11.Smart city:Many cities are now enhancing the quality and performance of urban services by
becoming more intelligent through digitalisation. The government must invest
into building up the digital infrastructure for a more informed environmental
policymaking and monitoring ecosystem.
12.Education for sustainable development: The implementation and effectiveness of green
policies is reliant on an educated society. The government must provide the
appropriate level of resource to train educators and promote environmental
13.Oversight of ESG and climate-related financial risks: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority
has introduced the new Supervisory Policy Manual module GS-1 on climate risk
management for financial institutions and corporates. Listed companies and all
financial institutions should have much better board oversight of
climate-related financial risks integrated into both regulatory frameworks and
With the government poised to lead Hong Kong to
economic recovery, instead of simply returning to business-as-usual, this
should be an opportunity to make inroads towards low-carbon sustainable
of the Earth (HK) Response to the 2023-24 Budget Consultation