Search

 

Cablegate: Climate Change: China Wants Greater Hong Kong

VZCZCXRO4167
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHHK #1944/01 2930540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200540Z OCT 09
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8769
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HONG KONG 001944

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/CM, EAP/EP:MACFARLANE, OES/PCI: MIRZA,
OES/EGC, EEB/ESC/IEC/ENR:MONOSSON, S/SECC:HOUSER AND
SIERAWSKI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENGR KGHG SOCI HK CH
SUBJECT: CLIMATE CHANGE: CHINA WANTS GREATER HONG KONG
CONTRIBUTIONS

REF: HONG KONG 599

1. SUMMARY: At the Hong Kong-hosted Second Annual
International Climate Change Conference, October 7-9,
participating Guangdong and central government
representatives repeatedly called on Hong Kong to speed up
technology transfer to China by becoming a model low carbon
city and a leader in green financing and R&D. The conference
focused on climate change business opportunities and
cooperation in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), and while
participants encouraged the U.S. to raise its emission
targets, there was little criticism of U.S. climate policy.
PRC officials reiterated calls for developed countries to
take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The growth of green business in China continues to be
hampered by the lack of technical and financial expertise
needed for complex transactions. END SUMMARY

Stress on Market Approaches
---------------------------------------

2. The Second Annual International Climate Change Conference
(ICCC) took place October 7-9 in Hong Kong, jointly organized
by The Climate Group and the Hong Kong Climate Change Forum.
The ICCC brought together leading experts from a wide range
of disciplines to discuss the impact of climate change on the
Pearl River Delta region and to discuss policies for managing
risk and sustaining economic growth. Edward Yau, Hong Kong's
Secretary of Environment and Professor Yanhua Liu, PRC's Vice
Minister of Science and Technology, opened the conference.

3. Participants advocated a wide range of approaches to
dealing with climate change, including the need to have
multiple government and non-government players in the fight
against climate change; encouraging low carbon development
through cooperation between industrial and developing
countries; crafting clear government policy; capital and
financing; technology development/transfer; and carbon
pricing mechanisms to reflect the true costs of combating
climate change.

4. Vice Minister Liu complained that developing countries
were being expected to shoulder an unfair proportion of
responsibility for reducing carbon and GHG emissions and
urged developed countries to share carbon reduction
technology. He reiterated Beijing,s stance that developed
countries should take the lead in committing to binding
emissions reductions.

U.S. Targets Too Modest
----------------------------------

5. Lumumba Stanislaus-Ka Di-Aping, the Sudanese Ambassador
and Deputy PermRep to the UN and Chair of the Group of 77,
reporting back from the just-ended UNFCC meeting in Bangkok,
remarked that the "ambitions of developed countries were
irresponsibly modest" and that the U.S. and its allies were
exhibiting "isolationism and exceptionalism". Aside from
Di-Aping,s remarks, there was little direct criticism of
U.S. climate policy, although several participants called on
the U.S. to raise its emissions targets. Participants also
regretted that no U.S. climate officials, businesses, or NGOs
attended the conference. Besides Hong Kong officials, the
PRC, Denmark, Argentina, Canada, France, and United Kingdom
fielded delegates.

China Wants Hong Kong To Lead, But Hong Kong Falls Short
--------------------------------------------- -----------------

6. In their various interventions and speeches, Guangdong
and central government representatives repeatedly called on
Hong Kong to speed up technology transfer to China by
becoming a leader in green financing and R&D as well as a
model low carbon city. The Hong Kong Government,s focus on
mitigation activities, however, such as energy efficient
building retrofits and electric vehicles, aimed at a 25
percent reduction in energy intensity from 2005 levels by
2030, was criticized by Mainland counterparts as
insufficient. Many voiced the view that Hong Kong, as the
&wealthy brother8, should adopt more aggressive emission
standards. The HKSAR Government did not publicly respond to
these calls during the conference.

7. Note: HK's Chief Executive Donald Tsang in his Annual
Policy Address October 14 stated that Hong Kong attached
importance to the issue of climate change and the need to
transition to a low carbon economy; however, he fell short of
announcing any major new policy changes. Two new inititaives

HONG KONG 00001944 002 OF 002


were announced, however -- a coupon scheme to replace
incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
and a leasing scheme to promote electric vehicle usage. He
also reiterated Hong Kong's commitment to reduce energy
intensity levels, arguing that, since Hong Kong was driven by
non-energy intensive service industries, it would be able to
reduce carbon emissions further through clean fuels and
improved energy efficiency. The CE stated that Hong Kong
needed to extend landfills and construct a new integrated
waste management facility, as well as a new food waste
recycling center. He also referenced HKSAR Government's
on-going study to develop comprehensive strategies and
measures to deal with climate change, scheduled for
completion early next year. End Note

Barriers to Green Trade Persist
-------------------------------------------

8. Although much of the conference focused on the vast
business opportunities arising from the global transition to
a low carbon economy, it also highlighted the importance of
entrepreneurs having access to finance in order to propel
green investment and technology development. Hong Kong
banking and finance industry representatives acknowledged
that they could play a key role but cautioned that current
uncertainties over the outcome of Copenhagen were
constraining business potential. Finance industry reps also
highlighted an additional barrier to green business in China.
As projects grew more technically complex, the need for
advisers and technical consultants increases, but to date,
Chinese companies have been unwilling to hire financial and
technical advisers necessary to make these deals possible.
MARUT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>